Animal-derived dietary protein ingestion and physical activity stimulate myofibrillar protein synthesis rates in older adults. We determined whether a non-animal-derived diet can support daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates to the same extent as an omnivorous diet. Nineteen healthy older adults (aged 66 (sem 1) years; BMI 24 (sem 1) kg/m2; twelve males, seven females) participated in a randomised, parallel-group, controlled trial during which they consumed a 3-d isoenergetic high-protein (1·8 g/kg body mass per d) diet, where the protein was provided from predominantly (71 %) animal (OMNI; n 9; six males, three females) or exclusively vegan (VEG; n 10; six males, four females; mycoprotein providing 57 % of daily protein intake) sources. During the dietary control period, participants conducted a daily bout of unilateral resistance-type leg extension exercise. Before the dietary control period, participants ingested 400 ml of deuterated water, with 50-ml doses consumed daily thereafter. Saliva samples were collected throughout to determine body water 2H enrichments, and muscle samples were collected from rested and exercised muscle to determine daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates. Deuterated water dosing resulted in body water 2H enrichments of approximately 0·78 (sem 0·03) %. Daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates were 13 (sem 8) (P = 0·169) and 12 (sem 4) % (P = 0·016) greater in the exercised compared with rested leg (1·59 (sem 0·12) v. 1·77 (sem 0·12) and 1·76 (sem 0·14) v. 1·93 (sem 0·12) %/d) in OMNI and VEG groups, respectively. Daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates did not differ between OMNI and VEG in either rested or exercised muscle (P > 0·05). Over the course of a 3-d intervention, omnivorous- or vegan-derived dietary protein sources can support equivalent rested and exercised daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates in healthy older adults consuming a high-protein diet.