Recovery of performance after strenuous exercise may be accelerated/enhanced by intake of protein, similar to the effect protein intake has on stimulation of muscle protein synthesis. In collaboration with Arla Foods Ingredients (AFI), researchers from the Norwegian School of Sports Sciences have investigated effects of supplementation with AFI’s whey protein isolate Lacprodan SP-9225 after exhaustive exercise.
In this study, endurance-trained males performed exhaustive cycling (time-to-exhaustion ~1½hrs) and ingested either 1.2g carbohydrate/kg/hr (CHO), 0.8 g carbohydrate + 0.4 g protein/kg/hr (CHO+PRO) or placebo without energy (PLA) during the first two hrs after exercise. After 18 hrs of recovery, performance in a time-to-exhaustion (TTE) bicycle test was improved in the CHO+PRO and reduced in the PLA trials compared to only CHO. Furthermore, a positive nitrogen balance was observed in the CHO +PROT group potentially reflecting an increased protein synthesis rate.
The authors conclude that intake of protein in combination with carbohydrate during the two first hours after exhaustive exercise results in a better and faster recovery, which improves performance when compared to intake of carbohydrate only.
Read the entire study here