We all know that protein is an absolutely vital nutrient of any bodybuilders’ diet. While many of us turn to whey shakes and chicken breasts, science has started to point to insects as a significant protein source. They’re dense in nutrients, widely available, and contain a large amount of protein.
Now, in one of the first studies of its kind, research is taking a look at the effect of insect protein supplementation on men who engage in resistance training. They wanted to discover whether these small bugs could help to build a large amount of muscle mass.
Eighteen healthy young men underwent four days of weekly resistance training for eight weeks. The participants were placed into two groups: one consuming insect protein and another inducing the same amount of calories from carbs within one hour after training and before bed on training days. The researchers measured both their strength and body composition before and after.
The results showed that both groups significantly improved their muscle mass as well as their strength in regards to leg and bench presses. However, there were no significant differences in body composition or muscle strength improvements between the groups.
It means that in healthy men, insect protein in particular didn’t improve their results in comparison to purely carbohydrates.
However, there is no reason to prematurely write off the idea that insect protein could be beneficial for you or not. To make a conclusive statement we would need to compare it to another protein source such as whey, egg, soy or meat. Similar studies should be prolonged to more than eight weeks as well.
- Vangsoe, Mathias T. et al. “Effects of Insect Protein Supplementation during Resistance Training on Changes in Muscle Mass and Strength in Young Men.” Nutrients 10.3 (2018): 335. PMC. Web. 8 Apr. 2018.