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Whey Speeds Recovery Of Force After Exercise

Whey protein has many positive qualities that make it an attractive protein source to consume after exercise. Studies have shown whey is rapidly absorbed, provides a readily available source of important amino acids, increases protein synthesis, enhances immune function, and decreases oxidative stress. Although all these effects are beneficial metabolic events that would be predicted to enhance performance during recovery, it remains unclear whether recovery of force generating capacity is actually improved. Australian researchers addressed this question in a study that involved studying recovery from a bout of intense eccentric exercise that caused muscle damage. One group of men were randomized to a control group who received flavored water and another group consumed a protein supplement (25 g of hydrolyzed whey protein isolate) immediately after the exercise bout and again 2 and 22 hours later. Recovery of force generating capacity was assessed at varying times 24 hours after exercise. The eccentric exercise bout caused peak force to be decreased by an average 23%. At 6 hr post exercise peak force was completely recovered in the group receiving the hydrolyzed whey protein isolate and it continued to increase above pre-exercise at 24 hr. In contrast, peak force did not recover at 6 hr and even remained below pre-exercise levels after 24 hr during placebo. These results indicate that ingestion of a single 25 g dose of hydrolyzed whey protein isolate enhances recovery of muscle force generating capacity after a bout of damaging eccentric exercise.

Buckley JD, Thomson RL, Coates AM, Howe PR, Denichilo MO, Rowney MK. Supplementation with a whey protein hydrolysate enhances recovery of muscle force-generating capacity following eccentric exercise. J Sci Med Sport. 2008 Sep 1. [Epub ahead of print]