Research Update: Whey Protein Supplementation Linked to Enhanced Muscle Mass and Function in 4-Week Clinical Study

An overwhelming amount of scientific research evidence suggests that increasing dietary whey protein intake, when combined with a regimen of regular resistance exercise, will facilitate positive physiological outcomes including enhanced muscle mass and strength. The additional protein in the form of high biological value (BV) whey protein improves body composition and function even when traditional whole food sources of protein (beef, eggs, chicken, etc) are already present in the diet.

Whey Protein: A Powerful Driver of Size and Strength IncreaseYeah, yeah, we know: Spoiler alert. But you may be surprised at just how effectively whey protein intake can increase mass and performance, and how quickly you can expect to see results.

One recent study, conducted in South Korea and published in the scientific journal Nutrients in February of 2023, explored the relationship between whey protein supplementation and augmentation of muscle mass and function. It also had some pretty interesting test controls in place. Its time frame? Just four weeks.

A Whey Protein Study With Unique Controls

In the randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study (Chae-Been Kim 1), researchers were seeking to investigate the effect of whey protein supplementation under dietary control on improvements in muscle mass and function following resistance exercise training. Thirty-two healthy men in their 20s and 30s were randomly assigned to either a whey protein supplementation group taking whey protein isolate or a placebo group. (The whey protein supplement and placebo were formulated in chocolate-flavored powder form, with one pack of whey protein powder supplement containing 20 g of whey protein isolate, 8 g of carbohydrate, and 6.4 g of dietary fiber, while one pack of placebo contained 25 g of carbohydrate instead of protein.)

Both groups underwent resistance exercise training for 4 weeks. All participants performed resistance exercise at 60%–70% of 1-repetition maximum (RM) for 60 minutes per day, 6 days per week. For dietary control, each participant was given 3 meals per day corresponding to the estimated daily energy intake calculated by the individual amount of exercise and resting metabolic rate for the entire period of the study. Body composition and isokinetic muscular function were measured before and after the intervention.

The structure of this study is important because few studies have investigated the effects of whey protein supplementation under dietary control. In typical studies, the subjects' diet is determined via a diet log or questionnaire, without strict supervision, and the longer the study period, the more inaccurate the study participants' records can become. Here, that variable has been removed by controlling the participants' diet. All participants were provided 3 pre-packed meals per day, each containing a ratio of 10% protein, 30% fat, and 60% carbohydrates based on the individual’s calculated daily caloric intake.

Compelling Results in Just 4 Weeks

Once the intervention period was concluded, the subjects' body composition was measured via bioelectrical impedance analyzer and muscular strength and endurance were measured using an isokinetic dynamometer.

The results they found should be of great interest to anyone seeking to enhance physique and performance. "After four weeks of resistance exercise, the change in muscle mass was significantly different between the two groups," the researchers stated. "The whey protein group showed significantly increased muscle mass, whereas the placebo control group did not. Although the increase in muscle mass was relatively small, considering that body weight was also significantly decreased, this increase in muscle mass could be meaningful. These results suggest that whey protein supplementation has an additional effect on resistance exercise-induced increases in muscle mass."

The researchers also reached similarly encouraging conclusions about whey protein's effect on muscular function. "After 4 weeks of resistance exercise ... the whey protein group showed significantly increased strength of both the dominant and non-dominant knees and shoulders, whereas the placebo control group did not," they stated. "Similar to the results for muscular strength, there were also significant differences between the two groups in selective muscular endurance of the knee and shoulder. The whey protein group showed significantly increased endurance of the dominant knee and shoulder, whereas the endurance of the placebo control group did not change."

The researchers concluded, "The results of this study indicate that whey protein supplementation promotes muscle mass increase and selective increases in muscular strength and endurance from resistance exercise. This suggests that whey protein supplementation is practically effective independently of the normal diet."

These developments come as welcome validation to those in the sports nutrition community who have long championed superior-quality whey protein formulations as valuable complements to a healthy and balanced dietary regimen. More (and better) protein is your pathway to enhanced physique and performance.

Super Premium Protein for Serious Athletes

Advanced Protein Science for Enhanced Results

Here is where we emphasize the importance of "better protein." The protein marketplace has been in a state of upheaval for at least ten years now, as raw material demand has escalated dramatically and manufacturing capacity has remained static or even declined. Post-COVID supply chain issues have only made the situation worse.

Not surprisingly, many less-than-scrupulous manufacturers have taken to cutting corners on everything from ingredient quality to the actual amount of real protein found in each container. Cheap whey concentrates, inert fillers, and deceptive protein-spiking methods are once again in the ascendant. Some of these lesser proteins, nutritionally speaking, are little better than the placebo controls in the study cited above when it comes to building new muscle mass or enhancing training.

In trying times like this, a savvy consumer is well advised to stick with manufacturers who have a long history of setting very high standards for ingredient quality and manufacturing protocols -- and sticking to them.

ProSource's own NytroWhey Ultra Elite has been helping serious athletes achieve their training and physique goals for almost two decades now. Our flagship protein formula is famous for its unsurpassed matrix of protein technologies designed to exponentially increase protein synthesis, support recovery, and drive significant growth.

The ultra-premium-grade, cold-processed CFM whey protein isolate in NytroWhey Ultra Elite is loaded with critical growth catalysts primed for rapid-action muscle support. For even faster uptake, advanced whey protein hydrolysates yield extremely low-molecular-weight peptides for super-swift absorption into muscle tissue. NytroWhey Ultra Elite also contains a state-of-the-art leucine peptide technology designed to transport leucine to muscle tissue more efficiently, increasing muscle power and work output.

Because ProSource is committed to improving even its best products on an ongoing basis, NytroWhey Ultra Elite has been subtly modified to make it even more ideal for fitness-conscious people intent on eating clean and eating well. Several adjustments to NytroWhey Ultra Elite's nutritional profile have made it simpler, more natural, more digestible and more bioavailable. The last traces of gluten and soy have been removed, fiber content has been reduced and healthy fats sourced from sunflower oil have been added. NytroWhey Ultra Elite has been the industry leader in purity, potency and power since the day it first appeared; now its superiority is beyond question.

As the latest scientific research continues to highlight the importance of whey protein supplementation for hard-training athletes, ProSource's NytroWhey Ultra Elite continues to be their #1 option for real physique and performance results.

Scientific Reference

1 Chae-Been Kim, Jong-Hoon Park, Hyoung-Su Park, Hye-Jin Kim and Jung-Jun Park. Effects of Whey Protein Supplement on 4-Week Resistance Exercise-Induced Improvements in Muscle Mass and Isokinetic Muscular Function under Dietary Control. Nutrients 2023, 15(4), 1003. Published: 16 February 2023.

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