Muscle health can be rapidly compromised in clinical environments. Modifiable strategies to preserve metabolic homeostasis in adult patient populations include physical activity and pharmacologic support; however, optimizing dietary practices, or more specifically protein intake, is a necessary prerequisite for any other treatment strategy to be fully effective. Simply increasing protein intake is a well‐intentioned but often unfocused strategy to protect muscle health in an intensive care setting. Protein quality is a frequently overlooked factor with the potential to differentially influence health outcomes. Quality can be assessed by a variety of techniques, with digestible indispensable amino acid score being the current and most comprehensive technique endorsed by the Food and Agriculture Organization. In practical terms, animal‐based proteins are consistently scored higher in quality compared with incomplete proteins, regardless of the assessment method. Consequently, choosing parenteral and/or enteral feeding options that contain high‐quality proteins, rich in the branched‐chain amino acid leucine, may help establish a dietary framework with the potential to support clinical practice and improve health outcomes in critically ill patients.