Here’s your top trending supplement news for the last week of June. Bill Gates and artificial intelligence may change the game in supplements.
New research on protein’s efficacy. Robots with muscles. Meal delivery that meets your fitness goals. Supplement stories dominated headlines this week, but if you’re anything like us, you found it hard to catch all the news you wanted to. Here’s our weekly roundup of the trending supplement stories you might have missed over the last few days.
Is everything we knew about protein a myth?
We’ve all heard that protein is the building block of life and that it’s vital for building muscles. This fact has fueled the rise of high-protein diets among those looking to increase muscle mass and strength. But new research shows that all that extra protein may not be as effective as we may have thought—at least in older men.
Researchers conducting the study tested a group of men, aged 73 on average. They split them into four different groups. One group took the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein based on their weight, along with a placebo “testosterone” injection. Another group took a bit more protein with the placebo injection. The third group took the protein RDA with a testosterone shot, and the final group took a higher amount of protein with the testosterone shot.
The results? Six months in, none of the men showed much difference in their lean body mass or athletic performance in physical activity tests like chest presses and stair-climbing. However, the results were not conclusive as to whether increased protein intake was beneficial or not. Further studies still need to be done to see if an even higher intake could make more of a difference.
Despite the results, the discussion continues on the amount of protein one should eat for optimal health and strength, and the body of research continues to grow.
Robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) get a muscle upgrade
Innovators and technologists have been calling out AI as the demise of humanity and the world as we’ve known it. Can computers really become so human-like that they can beat us at our own game? Elon Musk and Bill Gates certainly think so. And now, new technology is making robots more lifelike than ever before. How? Through muscle building.
A paper published in the journal Science Robotics described a biohybrid robot that was powered by real skeletal muscle tissues. That’s right; the robots had real, functioning skeletal muscles. While this idea (and technology) for muscle-powered robots isn’t new, previous iterations of these sci-fi players have been short-lived because the muscles have tended to shrink fairly rapidly.
The newest iteration of the robotic muscles used antagonistic tissues that would contract while the other expanded to balance out the muscle, preventing shrinkage. The muscles were assembled around rotating joints and utilized electrodes to stimulate contractions. Tests showed that the muscular robots had the strength, flexibility and functionality to lift rings and square frames.
Will Gates’ and Musks’ foreboding predictions of the looming AI apocalypse hold true? Only time will tell. But for now, robotic muscles have the potential to do some amazing things for the future of amputees and robots alike.
Meal prepping for muscle building
Building muscle takes some serious gym time, and some equally serious nutrition and healthy eating habits. And healthy eating begins with meal prepping. But when you have to eat thousands upon thousands of calories a day (we’re talking about you, bodybuilders) meal prepping can be quite the hassle. After all, that’s a lot of food. But one Australian company is changing the face of meal prepping for anyone looking to build some serious muscle.
My Muscle Chef amplifies and streamlines good nutrition. The company sends customers the makings of a muscle-friendly meal with the ideal balance of macronutrients like proteins, carbs and fats so you can really maximize your workout results and weight goals. You also get to choose your meal size based on your body goals and your workout routine.
But before you rush out to sign up for what seems like a dream come true for bodybuilders and athletes, let’s talk about the downsides to this plan. Because the vegetables come frozen, you miss out on the deliciously crisp texture of fresh vegetables. And let’s face it, nuking your food in a microwave has never been considered all that healthy.
Before you choose a meal plan, you should also be certain that the meal size you choose really is what your workout routine requires, because too many calories will pack on unwelcome pounds—even if they’re healthy calories. Some users have also described the foods as having a bit of a starchy texture, which can get old as fast as a protein powder with a chalky texture.