New study into plant-based protein powders launched

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

A new study by the University of Birmingham will test the effectiveness of plant-proteins on muscle health
A new study by the University of Birmingham will test the effectiveness of plant-proteins on muscle health

Related tags plant-based Protein

A new study to test the effectiveness of plant-based proteins in supporting muscle health has been launched by the University of Birmingham and sports nutrition firm, Myprotein.

The study will test Myprotein’s THE Plant blended plant protein supplement against other protein powders, including animal-based and single-source plant, to measure how well it supports muscle health against three key standards. 

The standards it will be measured against are: how it is digested and absorbed into the blood stream; how it supports muscle recovery after an intense session of strength training; and how it bolsters muscle growth in strength training over a period of several months. 

An increasing number of consumers turning to plant-based alternatives, as well as the lack of understanding on how those products perform in the area of muscle building and recovery was the catalyst for this study, according to Leigh Breen, of the University’s School of Sport Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. 

‘Don’t fully understand’ 

“What we don’t yet fully understand, however, is how those products perform in the area of muscle building and recovery,​” said Breen 

“In the case of plant-based proteins, there is concern that they will not effectively reproduce the complex range of proteins found in more traditional animal-based products. The product we are testing here comes from a range of plant sources that may overcome those challenges.”   

THE Plant features a blend of three different plant-based proteins – pea protein isolate, rice protein isolate, and hydrolysed pea protein – as well as all nine essential amino acids. It delivers 20g of protein per serving along with other ingredients to “help build and maintain muscle mass”​ as is typically found with traditional protein supplements. 

‘Functionality and taste’ 

Dawid Lyszczek, Head of New Product Development at Myprotein, added: “We formulated the product using strong underpinning theory, as well as advanced technologies to improve functionality and taste of the product.  

“THE Plant is a true alternative to conventional protein sources for customers who want to perform to best of their ability, no matter what dietary needs they have. With this research partnership with University of Birmingham, we hope not only to illustrate the product’s advocacy, but also to support much needed body of scientific evidence surrounding plant-based nutrition." ​  

Meanwhile, plant-based innovation has long since expanded beyond the world of meat analogue products and exploded into every retail category, supported behind the scenes by ingredients suppliers. We cover the latest trends in this feature.​  


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