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“Where do you get your protein from, though?” It’s a common question vegans are asked, as many people assume plant-based protein sources are not adequate or readily available.

However, a new study from the Applied Physiology and Nutrition Research Group at the University of São Paulo in Brazil is challenging that notion. The study found that plant protein was just as effective as animal protein in building muscle.

The research was published in the scientific journal Sports Medicine. It aimed to determine the effects and differences of plant-based protein sources versus omnivorous protein sources on muscle mass and strength in a specific population of men.

Hamilton Roschel, PhD, led the study which recruited a total of 38 healthy men in their mid-20s who didn’t regularly weight train. Of the 38 participants, 19 ate an omnivorous diet and 19 ate a vegan diet.

The men were all put on a specific, supervised weight-training program, at two sessions per week for 12 weeks. Both omnivores and vegans consumed 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. The vegans consumed a soy protein supplement and the omnivores consumed a whey protein supplement.

What the study found was that all participants had increased measurements of lean muscle mass, whole muscle, muscle fiber cross-sectional areas, and improved physical performance. There were no differences observed in performance improvement or muscle growth between the omnivorous group and the vegan group.

The study findings Support the notion that a plant-based diet consisting of whole foods and soy protein can be as effective as an omnivorous diet consisting of plant foods, animal products, and whey protein in building muscle and improving physical performance.

The study concludes: “A high-protein, exclusively plant-based diet (plant-based whole foods plus soy protein isolate supplementation) is not different than a protein-matched mixed diet (mixed whole foods plus  whey protein supplementation) in supporting muscle strength and mass accrual, suggesting that protein source does not affect resistance training-induced adaptations in untrained young men consuming adequate amounts of protein.”

Make your own plant-based protein-packed meals at home:

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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