A group of researchers at Maastricht University in the Netherlands discovered in a randomized study that protein derived from potatoes supports muscle growth and repair, a June 6 news release said.
It was found that consuming 30 grams of potato-derived protein concentrate following resistance exercise strongly increased muscle protein synthesis rates to levels that didn’t differ from the response following the ingestion of an equivalent amount of milk protein concentrate.
“In general, plant-derived proteins are considered to have lesser anabolic properties, due to their lower digestibility and incomplete amino acid profile. Our results show that ingestion of 30 g potato-derived protein will support muscle growth and repair at rest and during recovery from exercise,” Luc J.C. van Loon, professor of physiology of exercise and nutrition at Maastricht University Medical Centre and lead study investigator, said in the release.
The findings from van Loon’s research group demonstrate that potato-derived protein concentrate powder can be used to increase muscle protein synthesis rates both at rest and during post-exercise recovery in healthy, young men, at rates that do not differ from the ingestion of an equivalent amount of milk protein, the release said.
The randomized study followed 24 young, healthy males between the ages of 20-28 years. The release noted participants completed resistance exercise on a seated knee-extension machine following a warm-up on a supine leg press machine. They then rested for 10 minutes with blood samples drawn and muscle biopsies were taken from each leg.
Following the biopsies, 12 participants ingested 30 grams potato-derived protein while the other 12 ingested an equivalent amount of milk-derived protein. The release then said blood samples were collected over a five-hour period following ingestion to determine blood amino acid, glucose, and insulin concentrations. Second and third muscle biopsies were taken to determine muscle protein synthesis rates at rest and during recovery from exercise.
The release noted further studies will need to be done to assess dose-response relationships between smaller and larger doses of protein on muscle protein synthesis. There also needs to be further studies done assessing the effects of plant-derived protein concentrates on muscle conditioning after repeated bouts of exercise in larger and more diverse populations.
The report noted research was supported by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education. Results were published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.