You’re familiar with whey, pea, and soy, but potato protein? It might not be just a fad. A new study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise finds that consuming protein extracted from potatoes has the same benefits for helping your body rebound after a workout as consuming milk protein—long believed to be the go-to source for post-exercise recovery.
Plant proteins are typically considered less useful in recovery because they’re harder to digest and are incomplete in their amino acids compared to animal protein, but potatoes, it turns out, have all the essential amino acids that milk does.
In the study, Dutch biologists asked a group of fit guys to consume a beverage made with 30 grams of either potato or milk protein powder after resistance training. The result? Muscle protein synthesis (a.k.a. recovery) was enhanced equally for both groups, says study co-author Luc J.C. van Loo.
But since whole potatoes contain a measly 1.5 percent protein based on their weight, potato protein powder (protein extract from the “juice” of the potato) is definitely the way to go.
A newcomer to the fitness supplements market, potato protein is expected to reach $115 billion in sales by 2030, according to some estimates. For now, though, look for it in your local health food store.