according to this Why Popeye may have been right about spinach - health - 07 May 2008 - New Scientist! from the quoted abstract "phytoecdysteroids increased protein synthesis by up to 20%. In vivo, ecdysteroids increased rat grip strength. Ecdysteroid-containing plant extracts produced similar results." id love to read the whole article, but it requires a membership. another study confirms what D&S'ers have known all along, spinach is the ultimate muscle food.