It’s no secret that protein builds muscle. In fact, it’s the only micronutrient that directly causes protein synthesis. So, it would be apparent that you eat protein you build muscle, right? Wrong!
Whey, casein, egg, milk, beef and soy are some common types of protein you will find on the shelves, but they’re not all equal. Whey, casein, egg, milk and beef will all increase protein synthesis (build new muscle) but soy does not work in the same way. Why? The reason soy does not perform as well as other sources for muscle building is its lack of available amino acids, especially the amino acid leucine.
Leucine is an essential branch chain amino acid and is king when it comes to stimulating protein synthesis. It has a several-fold impact on activating the mTor pathway which, in turn, tells the body there is enough protein present and to start building muscle.
"A recent study found that when it comes to building muscle, soy is no better than water. Researchers gave 30 men 0g of soy protein, 20g soy, or 40g soy at rest after resistance training. They then compared the results to a group of men who were given 20g or 40g of whey protein.
They discovered that 40g soy increased protein synthesis slightly, but 20g worked as well as 0g soy. Both 20g and 40g of whey increased muscle protein synthesis significantly.
The research concluded that whey worked well and soy didn’t. This is due to the amount of available amino acids in whey compared to soy." - (Source: https://www.t-nation.com/diet-fat-loss/tip-avoid-soy-protein)
So, now we’re all clear that soy is basically as good as water when it comes to building muscle, let’s focus on some products that are good for muscle building.
Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Whey Protein
A good quality whey protein is an extremely useful tool when it comes to building muscle. Easily digested and easy on the stomach, this can be used pre-training, post-training or mixed with oats as a meal through the day. I usually have an oats and protein meal pre-workout, or mix some protein with my post-workout Rice Krispies.
Adding extra leucine to your pre, post or intra-shake is a great was to ensure you are training and recovering at an optimal level. Without enough leucine in your system, post-workout protein synthesis will not be at it greatest and potentially make youe workout ineffective.
Casein protein is a slower digesting protein ideal for a pre bedtime meal, but can be used throughout the day. It releases a steady stream of amino acids into the blood stream keeping your body in an anabolic state for longer, which is optimal for muscle growth.