With artwork improvements by the brilliant Eugen Loki (@pheasyque ), my latest post:⁣

A functional muscle is like a wooden fence. Hear me out:⁣

The wooden fence has the function to keep your neighbors from peeking over (and starting small-talk while you’re trying to enjoy your Sunday afternoon).⁣

A muscle has the function to… contract forcefully, to bring your skeletal frame into movement.⁣

Muscle is made up of protein building blocks (amino acids), and there are 20 different amino acids in total.⁣

However, if there is not enough of a certain amino acid, this becomes the limiting factor for muscle growth, which thereby limits its growth and capacity to contract more forcefully.⁣

In the same sense: if not all the planks (types of amino acids) are long enough (eaten enough), this becomes the limiting factor and the pesky neighbor can peek over the fence.⁣

Plant proteins (legumes, seeds, grains) don’t have as much digestible Lysine (an amino acid), but also Methionine as animal protein⁣ [Gorissen 2018].

To make up for this, you can do two things:⁣

(1) Make all the types of planks longer by ingesting more protein in total. ⁣

(2) Make only the limiting plank longer ingesting more of a specific protein building block.⁣

Number one will have you eating beans (and surprising people with silent farts) all day, since optimal daily protein needs go up from 1.8 to about 3.0 g/kg (!) on a plant-only diet [Gilani 2005], because of lower digestibility and limiting amino acids [Rosado 1992].⁣

Number two (pun intended) will have you supplement about 1-2 g of the amino acid Lysine per day, lowering the 3.0 to about 2.7 g/kg per day, which is still a lot of protein indeed.⁣

Another way is to combine (plant) protein sources intelligently: article on that with @perferrumetscientia@stennisschoppen coming soon…⁣

Better start eating more of that good ol’ protein my friends. ⁣