Marina Del Rey, CA- Plant-based protein is just as effective as animal-based whey protein when it comes to building muscle in professional athletes.

A recentstudyon the body composition effects of extra protein on professional athletes found that Axiom Foods' Oryzatein brown rice protein equaled animal-based whey protein for building and maintaining muscle – specifically in those practicing mixed martial arts (MMAs).

The study was presented at The International Society of Sports Nutrition Annual Conference and published in theJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. It was the first time the comparison of plant protein and animal-based whey protein was studied specifically in professional athletes.

Douglas Kalman, PhD, RD, FACN, FISSN, a sports nutritionist for Florida International University (FIU) and a Division 1 NCAA competitor in 18 sports, and Sports Nutritionist Alison Escalante RD led the study.  Says Dr. Kalman: "The study concluded that supplementing the diet of elite-level mixed martial artists with an average of 0.41 grams of protein per pound of body weight helps to maintain their lean body mass while undergoing high volume and intensity training. There were no additional benefits of one protein source over the other as both whey and rice protein provided statistically similar results."

The study was conducted in Spring 2017 at a mixed martial arts facility in Florida on 11 current and former MMAs. During the clinical trial, the participants chose to supplement with either whey protein or rice protein and were instructed to consume three scoops per day (75 grams total) with at least 25gm protein per scoop while maintaining their regular diet and continuing to perform their regular high volume, high intensity training and competitions.

The products used in the study were Growing Naturals' Rice Protein (featuring Oryzatein) and NutraBio's Whey Protein.

"The pure Oryzatein brown rice protein used in the study from Axiom Foods is the most naturally extracted on the market today," said Kay Abadee, VP marketing for Growing Naturals. "This study is sending a shock wave through the fitness industry, hopefully toppling long-held ideas that animal-based whey protein is necessary for serious athletes. Basically, we are finding that animals are no longer needed to get our protein."

Axiom will discuss its study at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA.