High Protein Diet May Increase Metabolism and Create Lean Muscle Mass
Athletes and dieters have utilized high-protein diets for years in order to boost muscle recovery and aid in weight loss. A recent study adds further scientific support to this move, finding that eating a protein-rich diet may increase lean muscle mass by as much as 45% and improve metabolism.
Participants in the study included 16 healthy adults. Over the course of eight weeks they were assigned excess calories diets that contained 5%, 15%, or 25% protein. In order to measure metabolic rate, the researchers looked at diet-induced thermogenesis (DIT), which they measured over four hours by indirect calorimetry after meals. They also measured excess calorie storage and body composition.
The researchers found that the high protein diet (25%) was associated with short-term changes in DIT but that no alteration occurred over a longer period of time. They also found that the increase in metabolism seen in the high protein group was not sustained once the participants returned to a normal protein diet.
Participants who ate high and normal levels of protein stored 45% of the excess calories as lean muscle, while the low protein group stored 95% as fat.
Researchers from Pennington Biomedical Research Center led the study. It was presented at the Obesity Society’s annual Obesity Week meeting on November 6, 2014.
Protein functions as a building block for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. It is also a building block for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. To get the optimal benefit from protein, it’s important to choose the right type. Some good sources of animal protein include fish, poultry, and lean meat. In addition, previous studies have found that proteins from dairy are especially good for building muscle mass.