Arla Foods Ingredients entered into collaboration with Aarhus University and Team Denmark to investigate the benefits of whey protein for endurance athletes. The study demonstrated that Lacprodan® HYDRO.365, a whey protein hydrolysate developed by Arla Foods Ingredients, leads to better performance and faster recovery following intense training compared with mainstream sports drinks.
The study involved 18 top-class runners from Team Denmark taking part in a one-week training camp. The athletes were training twice a day, every day (apart from on one rest morning) equating to 13 training sessions during the week. The athletes were divided into two groups of nine, with each receiving isocaloric diets. One group of runners consumed a traditional sports drinks containing carbohydrates and electrolytes before and after each training session, while the other group consumed pure Lacprodan® HYDRO.365 before each session and both a sports drink and Lacprodan® HYDRO.365 afterwards.
The run-test was undertaken initially before the camp and then again following the conclusion of all 13 of the training sessions held over the course of the week, making it possible to compare the impact of the Lacprodan® HYDRO.365 supplementation during the training camp. The results demonstrated that the athletes who consumed Lacprodan® HYDRO.365 before and after training performed better in a final 4km run-test (mean improvement of 17 seconds) than the sports drink-only group (mean decline of 3 seconds). The whey protein group also suffered reduced muscle damage compared with the sports drink-only group.
Besides this clinical study conducted by the University of Aarhus, further scientific evidence suggests that whey protein hydrolysates are more effective than other proteins commonly used in sports nutrition products because whey protein hydrolydates are absorbed faster into the body leading to faster muscle recovery.
Whey protein hydrolysates are emerging as the next big innovation in proteins and are poised to join other forms of protein in the mainstream sports nutrition market. Whey is already the gold standard in proteins for sports nutrition, thanks to its ideal essential amino acid profile and high proportion of branched-chain amino acids. As a whey protein hydrolysate, HYDRO.365 builds on whey protein’s unrivalled reputation for performance by making the protein even easier to absorb, so recovery can begin sooner.
Whey protein hydrolysates are already used by elite athletes and increasingly being embraced by sports enthusiasts that take their training seriously. According to Euromonitor International, the global endurance nutrition & sports nutrition segments are worth US$30 million and are projected to grow to US$40 million by 2018 – an increase of 33% over the period. These booming segments are constantly searching for novel solutions and whey protein hydrolysates are the optimal candidate for innovative muscle recovery and performance products.