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Maximize Tendon Strength and Size With Whey Protein Hydrolysate


A NEW STUDY SUGGESTS THAT HYDROLYZED WHEY MAY HAVE A SURPRISING INJURY-PREVENTING BENEFIT. Whey protein is well-publicized for its ability to facilitate increases in strength and muscle hypertrophy, but a recently published study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports examined whey protein hydrolysate’s ability to also increase the size and strength of tendons (Farup et al. 2014).

This study had 22 study participants ingest a combination of carbohydrate and whey protein hydrolysate or just carbohydrates over the course of a 12-week study period that required the participants to train their quadriceps muscles. Muscle size of the quadriceps was found to increase to a significantly greater degree than was observed in subjects just ingesting carbohydrate.

In addition, the cross-sectional area of the patella tendon increased at nearly 2x the rate when whey protein hydrolysate + carbohydrate was ingested as compared to ingesting solely carbohydrate. While strength changes were not impacted, the authors concluded that a combination of whey protein hydrolysate and carbohydrate can successfully augment the normal increases in both muscle hypertrophy and tendon hypertrophy.

Therefore, as people train harder and for longer period of times, supplementing with whey protein hydrolysate and carbohydrate may help to maintain tendon integrity, which ultimately could help with training adaptations as well as preventing injuries.

Scientific Reference

Farup, J., S. K. Rahbek, M. H. Vendelbo, A. Matzon, J. Hindhede, A. Bejder, S. Ringgard, and K. Vissing. 2014. "Whey protein hydrolysate augments tendon and muscle hypertrophy independent of resistance exercise contraction mode."  Scand J Med Sci Sports 24 (5):788-98. doi: 10.1111/sms.12083.