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Soy-Dairy Blend Best for Building Muscles

Update Date: Jan 25, 2013 05:02 AM EST

A combination of soy and dairy protein, consumed after exercise, can increase the rate at which muscles are synthesized in the body, a new study has found. Researchers say that the soy-dairy blend supplies amino acids to the growing muscles even hours after the person has stopped exercising.

Researchers from University of Texas Medical Branch found that people drinking a blend of proteins had better muscle mass due to the protein blend delivering many types of amino acids to the muscles.

"Sources of high-quality protein contain all the essential amino acids and have individual characteristics thought to offer a unique advantage for muscle growth. This is the first study to test the effects of combining soy with the dairy proteins, whey and casein, for promotion of lean body mass gain," said Blake Rasmussen, Department of Nutrition & Metabolism and lead author of the study.

The study provided evidence that a blend of soy and dairy extended the anabolic window, or the rate at which muscle synthesis was occurring during rest, according to a news release.

Paul Reidy, another author of the study, added that previous work on blends providing amino acids to the building muscles didn't account for the role of a particular amino acid called leucine that's believed to boost muscle protein synthesis.

The new research, Reidy said, showed that the soy-dairy blend increased muscle synthesis after exercise, whereas blends containing only whey did not.

The study included 19 healthy adults who were given either soy-dairy blend or just whey protein shake after high resistance exercises. Both the beverages had similar amounts of leucine. Researchers then analyzed the rate at which the muscles were building by taking multiple leg muscle samples from each individual.

A blend of proteins from milk, soy, beef and eggs are good for triggering muscle synthesis after resistance exercises. A beverage made from these protein sources when used after exercise can help build muscles, the research found.

"No research on blends of proteins from different sources and their effects on muscle protein synthesis has been done, to-date. Muscle health is of great concern to not only young and active individuals like the ones in this study but also to the aging population," said Ratna Mukherjea, Ph.D., Nutrition Science team lead at Solae/DuPont Nutrition & Health.

The study is published in the Journal of Nutrition.

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