Post-exercise protein may significantly reduce the damage to skeletal muscle following intense exercise. When compared to a placebo, most proteins seem to have a beneficial effect, with only small differences existing between the type of proteins. This makes sense because the amino acids within the proteins can be extracted by the body and used as needed, and the original source of these amino acids is not greatly important. What is more important is that the amino acids are present in amounts that provide an adequate amount of the essential amino acids, particularly ther branched chain amino acids valine, isoleucine and leucine. Differences between studies do exist between, for example, pea protein and whey protein in terms of the size of the effects and the types of biomarkers affected, but it is not possible to state that one protein is “better” than another. Current recommendations are to increase protein intake following resistance exercise in order to decrease post-exercise muscle damage.
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