Want To Gain More Muscle? Three Arguments Against Using Plant-Based Protein

Protein powders are really popular right now; you can easily get your hands on whey, hemp, soybean, and pea protein to enjoy in your drink. It's tempting to assume that the advantages of protein powders are identical because they all have a similar appearance and taste.

However, beware: plant-based protein powders, such as soy and pea, and animal-based protein powders, such as whey, don't always have the same effect on lean muscle building.

Plant proteins typically include fewer of the amino acid building blocks required to promote muscle growth. Let's examine it in more detail:

Here are a few explanations for why using a plant-based protein might not be yielding the desired effects.

Leucine content is the primary distinction between animal and plant proteins. The protein amino acid most directly linked to muscle development is leucine.

The mTOR pathway1, which regulates the anabolic (growth) and catabolic (breakdown) signals of skeletal muscle, is activated by the branched-chain amino acid.

Vice President of Scientific Affairs at mindbodygreen Ashley Jordan Ferira, Ph.D., RDN, says, "You can think of the BCAA leucine as a trigger or 'its go-time' button for muscle protein synthesis (i.e., the critical cellular process for building muscle)."

As noted by renowned amino acid researcher Don Layman, Ph.D., you need to take in about 2.5 to 3 grams of leucine at a time to initiate this muscle growth on the mindbodygreen podcast.

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