A new study conducted by the University of Exeter, UK, has concluded that people consuming a vegan diet with mycoprotein derived from fungi used as a meat substitute supports muscle growth during resistance training as well as people who eat an omnivorous diet. In the first half of this study, 16 healthy young adults followed a three-day diet where they ate protein-filled meals made from meat or mycoprotein sources. In the second phase, 22 other healthy young adults underwent a 10-week progressive resistance training program while eating a high-protein omnivore diet or a vegan diet filled with mycoprotein. 

After analysing metabolism levels and muscle development the study concluded that there was no significant difference in muscle gains and strength between the two groups. In other words, the mycoprotein-rich vegan diet produced similar muscle-building results during resistance training as people who get their protein from meat, with people eating a high-protein omnivorous diet showing a 5.7-pound increase in muscle mass while the vegan group showing a 6.83 pounds in mass (both groups showed an 8.3% size increase in their thigh muscles during the experiment).

Alistair Monteyne, a co-author of the study and researcher at the University of Exeter, said: “Our study demonstrates that mycoprotein is comparable to animal proteins in terms of its ability to facilitate increases in muscle mass and strength in young adults who are regularly engaging in resistance training…it is well established that muscle building can be augmented by adhering to a high protein diet. However, it was previously unclear as to whether non-animal derived diets and non-animal derived protein sources, such as Quorn’s mycoprotein, could support muscle building during resistance training to the same extent as omnivorous diets and animal-derived protein sources.”

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.