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What is the best Protein supplement for my horse?

What is the best Protein supplement for my horse?

Muscle is built at a cellular level through a process called anabolism, which involves the synthesis of new proteins and the formation of new muscle fibers. Anabolism is controlled by a group of hormones called anabolic hormones, which include testosterone, growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), and insulin.

When you exercise, particularly with resistance training, you create tiny micro-tears in your muscle fibers. This triggers a signaling pathway that activates the process of muscle protein synthesis. During this process, amino acids are transported into the muscle cells and used to build new proteins, which are then incorporated into muscle fibers.

One of the key factors that regulates muscle protein synthesis is the availability of amino acids. To build new muscle, you need to provide your body with a sufficient supply of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. This can be achieved through a balanced diet that contains high-quality protein sources.


Good Sources of Protein for Horses


Grass and Forage: High-quality grass and forage are essential components of a horse's diet. They provide a significant portion of the protein horses need. Pasture grasing and good-quality hay are primary sources of protein for most horses.

Legumes: Legumes such as alfalfa (lucerne) and clover are rich sources of protein for horses. Alfalfa hay, in particular, is often fed to horses that need additional protein in their diet, such as young growing horses, pregnant or lactating mares, or horses in heavy work.

Commercial Feeds: Many commercial horse feeds and concentrates are formulated to provide balanced nutrition, including protein. These feeds may contain a combination of grains and oilseeds.

Oilseeds: Certain oilseeds, such as soybeans, can be included in a horse's diet to provide protein. However, they should be fed in moderation and preferably processed (such as roasted or extruded) to improve digestibility and reduce the risk of digestive upset.


Supplements: There are also protein supplements available for horses, such as soybean meal or whey protein. These supplements can be added to the horse's diet if additional protein is needed to support growth, muscle development, or recovery.


Selecting the right protein supplement for your horse

Competition horses often have increased protein requirements compared to horses at maintenance due to the demands of their rigorous training and competition schedules.

When choosing a protein supplement, we recommend choosing one that is rich in good quality branch chain amino acids (BCAAs).

Branch chain amino acids, which include leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are essential amino acids that cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained through the diet or supplements. BCAAs are important for muscle growth for several reasons:

Stimulating Muscle Protein Synthesis: BCAAs, especially leucine, play a critical role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, the process by which muscle tissue is repaired and new muscle is built.

Reducing Muscle Damage: Exercise can cause muscle damage and inflammation, which can lead to muscle soreness. BCAAs have been shown to reduce muscle damage and inflammation, potentially improving recovery and reducing the amount of time needed for muscle repair.

Preventing Muscle Breakdown: During exercise, the body may break down muscle protein for energy, especially when energy stores are low. BCAAs can help prevent muscle breakdown by providing the body with a source of amino acids that can be used for energy, sparing muscle protein.

Overall, BCAAs can help support muscle growth by promoting muscle protein synthesis, reducing muscle damage and inflammation, and preventing muscle breakdown. However, it's important to note that BCAAs alone are not sufficient for muscle growth and must be consumed in conjunction with a balanced diet that provides all of the essential amino acids and enough calories to support muscle growth.


Protein Supplements for horses: What are your options?

Here is a selection of the best protein supplements for horses. Here you can compare both the price of the product and the ingredients to help you become the best informed to select the supplement that is right for you….

Prices exclude promotional offers

TRM Maxi-Top Equine

Form: Pellets | Sizes: 1.5kg, 5kg | RRP: From £69.95 | Daily measure: 50g maintenance

Maxi-Top Equine is a complementary feed for horses, designed to supply a significant source of Amino Acids, particularly Branch Chain Amino Acids, which will assist in the development and maintenance of muscle mass in horses in intense training and competition, in young growing horses, and during periods of rehabilitation after surgery or injury. Feed 50g per day for maintenance of normal muscle mass. During periods of rehabilitation or intense training feed 100g per day.


Selective precipitate of pea protein isolate, Soya beans extruded, Calcium hydrogen orthophosphate, Inactivated Yeast


Equitop Myoplast

Form: Pellets | Sizes: 1.5kg | RRP: From £84.18 | Daily measure: 50g-100g

Equitop® Myoplast from Boehringer Ingelheim is a muscle supplement for horses which supports the development of healthy lean muscle growth. It contains Spirulina derived 18 amino acids and includes 9 essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein). Equitop Myoplast also provides antioxidants from natural sources to help neutralise the free radicals produced during exercise, plus essential fatty acids which support the natural anti-inflammatory processes within the horse. For horses under 500kg, feed 50g, for horses over 500kg feed 100g per day.


Saccharose, algae meal, glucose syrup


TRM Muscle-Up

Form: Liquid | Sizes: 960ml | RRP: From £149.50 | Daily measure: 15ml

Muscle-Up is a feed supplement made with a very highly concentrated Rice Bran Oil. It contains the plant sterol Gamma Oryzanol, together with naturally occurring tocotrienols and tocopherols. When fed daily it will provide a powerful antioxidant network and will promote muscle development, physical wellbeing and improve overall appearance. It is recommended to feed continuously for two months in order to achieve optimum results. Feed 15ml/day (one 960ml bottle therefore suffices for a two-month course)


Gamma Oryzanol


NAF M Power

Form: Powder | Sizes: 900g, 2.7kg | RRP: From £65 | Daily measure: 30g

NAF M Power is a nutritional supplement which supports the healthy, natural development of muscle in horses. This formula contains amino acids and naturally sourced antioxidants which work together with a specially selected range of herbal ingredients to provide this smooth and healthy muscle function. It also contains essential vitamins, nutrients and trace elements to support the horse's performance and digestive system to enable efficient utilisation of the muscle building ingredients.

NAF M Power is ideal for muscle development in young horses or those that have been out of work and showing muscle fatigue. When fed along with the regular diet you can expect to see your horse maintain optimum power, stamina and muscle strength in fit horses.


Brewers' yeast, Omicha berries, Turmeric, Carrot (dried), Wheat protein, Vegetable protein, Rosehip shells, Rapeseed Oil, Dandelion leaves, Milk thistle seeds, Mushroom (dried), Chlorella (dried), Ginkgo leaves, Rosemary, Ginger, Licorice, Maltodextrin, Dicalcium phosphate, Seaweed meal, Calcium carbonate, Magnesium oxide, Sodium chloride, Sunflower oil.

Not available from Farm & Stablewhat-is-the-best-protein-supplement-for-my-horse


Omega Muscle

Form: Powder | Sizes: 1.98kg, 11.88kg | RRP: From £39.50 | Daily measure: 60g

Specifically formulated to support optimum equine muscular health and development. Developed exclusively by Omega Equine in the UK, the Omega Muscle supplement has been formulated to support muscular health. Packed with essential amino acids and nutrients, it's a mighty supplement for hard working horses. From muscle development to healthy and efficient muscle recovery, it focuses on maintaining healthy levels of power, strength and stamina through carefully considered ingredients.

The nutrients found in this supplement have been specifically chosen for their muscle supporting properties.


Rice bran, Whey Protein Concentrate, Linseed Meal, Dextrose, Rice bran oil, Flavour

Not available from Farm & Stable


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