Ah, protein. It is the word of the day at the gym, at the health food store, and in the kitchen. But, how much protein should we be eating? And, what kinds of protein are best? For the average person, almost any kind of protein will do. But, for people who try to build muscle, the type of proteins they consume matters a great deal. As it turns out, hemp seed protein is an excellent choice for bodybuilders and other athletes who need protein, but have dietary restrictions.
Leucine and MPS
Those who want to increase muscle mass, for whatever reason, ought to pay particularly close attention to the leucine content of their food. Studies show that leucine, an essential amino acid, can maximize the amount of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) that the body undergoes after a meal. As it turns out, we do not need to eat a ton of leucine to maximize MPS. Just 3-4 grams in a meal works best. But, eating protein-packed meals high in leucine does not seem to make a big difference. For the best results, experts say we ought to spread out high-protein meals by 4-6 hours. That way, the body remains sensitive to the leucine content of the meal.
The top protein source for leucine is whey. This explains why whey protein and whey powder are the ingredients du jour for the athlete’s protein shake. However, whey presents a couple obvious concerns. First, whey comes from cow’s milk, with whatever questionable treatments (e.g. antibiotics, hormones) the cow endured. Second, whey is a common allergen.
So, what are vegans and the dairy-intolerant to do, if they cannot have whey protein? Why, take hemp seed protein instead. One serving of hemp seeds contains 0.84g of leucine, plus a host of other fitness-boosting benefits. Hemp seeds beats out its non-animal competitors, soy and brown rice. Soy is a common allergen, and brown rice is an incomplete protein.
When we want to build muscle, to improve our workouts, we need to eat the right foods, rich in leucine. For maintenance of a muscle-building regimen, without all of the risks inherent to animal protein, hemp seed protein is at the top.