Monday, October 17, 2016

35g of PWO Whey Don't Build Extra Muscle, but Help Shed Body Fat | Plus: Is Hydro-Whey Better Than Concentrate?

Bad news bro: Whey will shed significant amounts of trunk and android fat only in conjunction with 16 weeks of resistance training. No matter what the ads promise.
Ok, Hulmi's 2015 study into the effects of protein / protein + carbohydrate supplementation that was consumed after each of the workouts in a 12-week resistance training protocol is not exactly "the latest science", but the results are still interesting and provide some insights into the importance of irrelevance of post-workout nutrition.

Why's that? With different training protocols focusing on strength endurance and strength-hypertrophy-power, and three supplementation groups with either protein (37.5g whey concentrate), carbohydrate (34.5g maltodextrin) or a combination of both, whey and maltodextrin.
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All subjects were mixed with non-caloric sugar-free drinks (FUN Light provided by Orkla Foods Finland, Turku, Finland) depending on the week and subject’s preference (either strawberry,
forest fruit, pomegranate-strawberry, apple-pear or raspberry-lemon).

Otherwise, the subjects were advised to eat normal recommended mixed meal based on the Finnish
Nutrition Recommendations 2014 (see below) 1–2 hours after the exercise bout.
Download the >600 page NNR2012 for free.
"Subjects kept 4-day food diaries during the second block of the 12-week RT period. Dietary intake was recorded over three weekdays and one weekend day [not ideal, but better than nothing].

The researchers gave subjects both verbal and written nutritional recommendations based on the Finnish Nutrition Recommendations 2014. As a rule, these follow the recommendations for the Nordic countries in Europe pub lished in Autumn 2013 (NNR2012) and are very close to USDA and HHS dietary guidelines (2010) for normal healthy adults. The subjects were instructed on how to report nutritional intake in the diaries.

Nutrients provided by the supplements were included in the analysis. The food diaries were analyzed by nutrient analysis software (Nutri-Flow; Flow-team Oy, Oulu, Finland)" (Hulmi. 2015).
In combination with the workout routine outlined in Tables 1 & 2, the dietary + supplement intervention lead to significant increased fat-free mass, muscle size and strength and that independent of post-exercise nutrient intake (P < 0.05).
Table 1 & 2: An overview of the RT program: the first block was a preparatory phase after which supplementations started and within those the subjects were separated into 2 different training regimens. Training bout consisted always of four main exercises trained with the specific regimen of using either MS, HS or PS as a focus. Five accessory exercises were trained in an HS manner // Typical exercise bout performed 2–3 x week contained exercises for legs, whereas exercises for other muscle groups rotated and thus were trained on average once per week (Hulmi. 2015).
What a closer look at Figure 1 and thus the actual changes in body fat, muscle size and strength can tell you, however, is that the whey protein wasn't "ineffective", at all.
Body composition changes in Lockwood et al. (top | 2016) and effects of adding small amounts of hydro whey on anti-oxidant activity of a lemon whey beverage (bottom | Athira. 2015).
Concentrate or hydrolysate - For fat loss, the latest study suggests the latter: Even though Hulmi et al. have used a "cheap" (and tasty) whey concentrate, another, more recent study by Lockwood et al. (2016) showed a significant loss of body fat only in the whey hydrolysate group - even though the muscle gains in response to 2x30g of the whey concentrate (WPC), and the high lactoferrin containing whey concentrate (WPC-L) were identical over the 8-week resistance training study.

How come? I guess there are a few potential reasons here, all of which eventually relate to the peculiar (small) peptide structure of the practically pre-digested whey protein. One being the peptides' glutathione boosting anti-oxidant prowess, which is way greater for hydrolysates vs. concentrates (Pacheco. 2005). It could also be the peptides ACE-inhibitory activity (Tavares. 2011; Sawada. 2016), which has been linked to fat loss in rodent studies (Weisinger. 2009) and preliminary evidence of improvements in body composition in human studies (Carter. 2005). As well as evidence of its ability to improve glucose management (Adams. 2016).
After all, the whey group saw significantly more pronounced total and abdominal area fat when compared to the carbohydrate group - and that was the case for both, the high(er) energy demand SHP and the low(er) energy demand HS training (P < 0.05).
Figure 1: Changes in body fat (top), and performance measures (bottom); green = there are stat. significant inter-group differences; grey = there are no stat. sign. inter-group differences (Hulmi. 2015).
If we talk body composition (which was assessed by Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, DXA) it is also worth pointing out that the administration of whey protein after the workouts lead to a larger relative increase (per kg body weight) in fat-free mass compared to the protein vs. carbohydrate group (P < 0.05) - albeit without significant differences between the combined group.
Figure 2: If you're still thinking about the concentrate vs. hydrolysate study, here are some hints on what may contribute to the difference Lockwood et al. have reported only recently (Lockwood. 2016).
No systematic effects of the interventions were found for serum lipids. The same goes for the changes in maximal voluntary contraction (even though, carbs appear to have some sort of benefit, here), the actual muscle size as measured as cross-sectional area (CSA) and the 1RM maximal leg strength.
So, why do many "experts" still emphasize the importance of post-workout carbohydrates? Well, I guess a good answer (not sure all of them can give you one, though) would be the possibility to increase your training frequency from frequent to extremely frequent without compro-mising your performance on the altar of low(er) carb intakes, because you're afraid of fat gains due to the insulin boogieman.

You believe you are training "extremely frequently"? I doubt that. - or do you hit the gym, the road or the pool twice or thrice a day, with every workout lasting (several) hours? No, ok, then you better don't eat like Michael Phelps does and this goes for both, his energy and macronutrient intake... unless, obviously, you want to balloon up like a porker.

If, on the other hand, you are one of the few pro-athletes that burn through 5,000-8,000 kcal on a daily basis, you will be having a hard time getting enough energy to perform without a high carbohydrate intake (and for many athletes carbohydrate supplements in form of energy drinks, gels and bars).
So, whey helps, CHOs don't. Great, but there is a few question we still have to address: (1) Do dietary differences explain the whey advantage? Meaning: Did the subjects simply get more protein, consume fewer calories or have any other "unique" dietary quality, besides the 30g+ of whey protein PWO?
If statistical significance is our yardstick, the answer is no. If it's absolute differences between mean intakes, however, the whey and whey + CHO group consumed 15 and 16% fewer calories, respectively. Can that explain a fat loss of 1.5 kg? Well, mathematically it can, because that's a 438kcal difference in favor of the whey groups. If we did the math and assumed that 16 weeks on a pseudo-deficit of 438kcal per day should translate into 7 kg of body fat loss... besides being based on the stupid 7000kcal per 1kg of body fat equation, this prediction does yet have another problem. With almost identical energy intakes in the two whey groups, i.e. whey along and whey + CHO, the fat loss should be identical. That this is not the case clearly refutes the notion that it's only about calories. It's also not just about protein, because the total protein intake (including supplements) of the CHO group was higher not lower than in the whey groups.
(2) Would a no-carb control have shown a similar lack of body fat loss? Meaning: Did the extra carbohydrates blunt the fat loss, or did the whey accelerate it?
This is likewise a question that cannot be answered conclusively without a follow-up trial, but with sign. fat loss in the whey + CHO group and no fat loss in the CHO group (receiving the same amount of carbs), we can pretty much exclude the possibility that the carbs are to blame. The answer to the above question is thus probably that whey accelerated the fat loss, just as it did in Antonio (2014), where a very high protein intake (3.4g/kg) that was achieved by the means of whey or beef protein supplements helped the subjects of the 8-week study shed an average of 1.6 kg of fat mass (compared to only 0.3 kg in the high protein group, ingesting only 2.3g/kg from foods) | Comment on Facebook!
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