Consumption of moderate amounts of animal-derived protein has been shown to differently influence skeletal muscle hypertrophy during resistance training when compared with nitrogenous and isoenergetic amounts of plant-based protein administered in small to moderate doses. A study published in Nutrition Journal examined if the post-exercise consumption of rice protein isolate could increase recovery and elicit adequate changes in body composition compared to equally dosed whey protein isolate if given in large, isocaloric doses.
The researchers recruited 24 college-age, resistance trained males for the study. Subjects were randomly and equally divided into two groups, either consuming 48 g of rice or whey protein isolate (isocaloric and isonitrogenous) on training days. Subjects trained three days per week for eight weeks as a part of a daily undulating periodized resistance-training program. The rice and whey protein supplements were consumed immediately following exercise. Ratings of perceived recovery, soreness, and readiness to train were recorded prior to and following the first training session. Ultrasonography determined muscle thickness, dual emission x-ray absorptiometry determined body composition, and bench press and leg press for upper and lower body strength were recorded during weeks 0, 4, and 8.
The researchers found no detectable differences present in psychometric scores of perceived recovery, soreness, or readiness to train. Both whey and rice protein isolate administration post resistance exercise improved indices of body composition and exercise performance; however, there were no differences between the two groups.
The researchers concluded that “The present results suggest that differences in protein composition are of less relevance when protein is consumed in high doses throughout periodized resistance training. Rice protein isolate consumption post resistance exercise decreases fat-mass and increases lean body mass, skeletal muscle hypertrophy, power and strength comparable to whey protein isolate.