Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whey Protein Isolate Increases Strength Gains over Carbohydrate Control

Regular readers of the SuppVersity, won't be surprised to hear that Cooke et al. (Cooke. 2010) found that supplementing a group of 17 previously untrained participants (23 +/- 5 yr, 180 +/- 6 cm, 80 +/- 11 kg) with a) whey protein isolate (WPH; n=9) or b) carbohydrate (CHO; n=8) at 1.5 g/kg.bw/day supplement (~30 g consumed immediately, and then once with breakfast, lunch, in the afternoon and after the evening meal) for 14 days resulted in a significant positive effect on exercise recovery and plasma creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels:
Figure 1: Strength development in a) whey and b) carbohydrate groups. (Cooke. 2010)
Isometric knee extension strength was significantly higher following WPH supplementation 3 (P<0.05) and 7 (P<0.01) days into recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage compared to CHO supplementation. In addition, strong tendencies for higher isokinetic forces (extension and flexion) were observed during the recovery period following WPH supplementation, with knee extension strength being significantly greater (P<0.05) after 7 days recovery. Plasma LDH levels tended to be lower (P=0.06) in the WPH supplemented group during recovery.
The exercise regimen, and this is particularly interesting, was pretty intense and mirrored basically what the experienced gymrat would be doing to put some mass on his skinny legs. It was a unilateral eccentric  contraction-based resistance exercise session, consisting of 4 sets of  10 repetitions at 120% of maximum voluntary contraction on the leg  press, leg extension and leg flexion exercise machine.

So, what are you wheyting for? Go heavy, but don't forget to drink your whey isolate, because that's the whey to get stronger ;o)