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Nutrients Rebuild Muscle
  • Article

Nutrients Rebuild Muscle

Whey protein rebuilds muscle after illness.
Older adults lose muscle mass from inactivity and illness.

In this study, 16 men and 15 women, aged 65 to 80, took 30 grams of whey protein, or 30 grams of collagen peptides, per day, for five weeks. Whey is a complete protein, rich in leucine and all essential amino acids, while collagen peptides are lower in these nutrients.

For two weeks during the five-week study, participants limited daily walking to 750 steps and reduced food by 500 calories per day. The diet added 725 mg of protein per pound of body weight. After this, participants returned to normal activity for one week. Both groups lost muscle mass, but the whey group recovered more skeletal muscle mass after resuming normal muscle-building activities. (Reference: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition; October, 2018, nqy193; Published Online)

While collagen protein certainly has value, when it comes to providing the amino acids needed to rebuild muscle tissue, the quality, or biological value of the protein is the most important factor. Whey protein, along with egg white protein, are two of the best.

Whey protein is rich in leucine, which is a branched-chain amino acid. Branched-chain amino acids are essential amino acids that include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These amino acids are found in dietary protein sources, especially meat, dairy products, and legumes.

Orally, branched-chain amino acids are used by athletes to enhance performance, prevent fatigue, improve concentration, and reduce protein and muscle breakdown during intense exercise. Branched-chain amino acids have also been used orally to treat anorexia in cancer patients, malnourished hemodialysis patients, cirrhosis patients and to attenuate muscle-wasting during bed rest.

Product Recommendations by Arnie Gitomer

Garden of Life makes an organic, grass-fed whey protein in chocolate, vanilla and strawberry flavors. Branched chain amino acids are available in capsule and powder from Pure Encapsulations.