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Chicken and Beef Proteins May be as Effective as Whey Protein for Muscle Building

Whey protein has long been the protein supplement of choice for weight lifters and resistance trainers. Now a recent study suggests that beef and chicken protein may be as effective as whey protein at stimulating improvements in body composition and resistance training results.


Participants in the study included 41 people between the ages of 18 and 30 who took part in an eight-week resistance exercise training program. Participants trained for 5 days per week, 3 days of resistance training and 2 days of cardio. During that time they also consumed 48 grams of protein from beef, chicken, whey, or maltodextrin as a control.


At the conclusion of the study, all of the intervention groups had significant increases in lean body mass. The beef, chicken, whey, and placebo groups had reductions in fat mass of 5.15 lbs, 4.1 lbs, 3.1 lbs, and 5.1 lbs, respectively. The placebo group had no significant increases in lean muscle mass.


The researchers also conducted a second phase of the trial, in which they assessed the effect of a 24-gram single dose on postprandial amino acid responses. They found that the beef protein offered 18.1 grams of essential amino acids per 100 grams and 8.0 grams of branched chain amino acids as well as a leucine content of 4%. The chicken protein offered 34.9 grams of essential amino acids per 100 grams and 14.7 grams of branched chain amino acids as well as a leucine content of 6.6%. Finally, the whey protein offered 37.2 grams of essential amino acids per 100 grams and 17.7 grams of branched chain amino acids as well as a leucine content of 8%.


Researchers from the University of Tampa conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on September 21, 2015, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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