Whey Protein for Sports & Fitness
Why Do Athletes Use It?*
Some athletes say that whey protein serves as another protein choice in their diets.
What Do the Advocates Say?*
Protein is necessary for rebuilding tissue-this is especially important for bodybuilders. All types of protein provide the body with amino acids. From an athletic point of view, whey is just another type of protein. Choosing whey protein over other types of protein simply adds variety to the protein choices available.
Whey is a common ingredient in many meal replacements, which are designed to provide a large amount of nutrients in a minimal amount of calories.
How Much Is Usually Taken by Athletes?
Animal studies suggest that whey protein can increase gains in lean body mass resulting from exercise.1 A controlled trial found that six weeks of strength training while taking 1.2 grams of whey protein per 2.2 of pounds body weight per day resulted in greater gains in lean body mass, but improved only one out of four strength tests.2 Another controlled study found that people taking 20 grams per day of whey protein for three months performed better on a test of short-term intense cycling exercise than people taking a similar amount of milk protein (casein).3 However, a double-blind trial found that men taking 1.5 grams per 2.2 lbs of body weight per day of predigested whey protein for 12 weeks along with a strength-training exercise program gained only half as much lean body mass and had significantly smaller increases in strength compared with men using a similar amount of predigested casein along with strength training.4 A controlled study of HIV-infected women found that adding whey protein to strength-training exercise was no more effective than exercise alone for increasing strength or improving body composition.5
*Athletes and fitness advocates may claim benefits for this supplement based on their personal or professional experience. These are individual opinions and testimonials that may or may not be supported by controlled clinical studies or published scientific articles.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.