The Nutrition Examination Research Digest (NERD) aims to provide rigorous, unbiased analysis of the latest and most important nutrition and supplementation studies. Click here to subscribe or login if already a subscriber .

In this article

Does whey supplementation help muscle function recover after lifting?

In this review, we cover the first meta-analysis examining whey protein’s impact on muscle function recovery after resistance training.

Study under review: The Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation on the Temporal Recovery of Muscle Function Following Resistance Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Introduction

A decrease in muscle function[1] normally occurs in the hours and days after strength training, as depicted in Figure 1. This persistent muscle fatigue can compromise subsequent athletic performance. Similarly, if the fatigue extends to the next training bout, the intensity and volume of the training can be negatively impacted, which may lead to diminished long-term strength and lean muscle gains.

Specific amino acids and protein are often used in an attempt to facilitate post-training improvements in muscle growth and strength. Mechanistically, these supplements are known to increase muscle protein synthesis[2], which may help to facilitate recovery and adaptation during the post-workout period. In particular, whey protein is considered to be a superior source[3] of protein, partly because of its amino acid profile and how rapidly it is digested and absorbed. If whey protein supplementation could mitigate post-resistance exercise fatigue, it could prove useful for athletes and individuals who train frequently.

In spite of the ubiquity of whey protein supplements, there had been no meta-analyses examining its effect on the restoration of muscle function, which was the motivation for the study under review.

Muscle strength is naturally reduced after resistance training, and protein supplements are often used to facilitate recovery and adaptation. Whey is a common high-quality protein source. This is the first meta-analysis examining its effects on post-workout fatigue.

Who and what was studied?

Become a subscriber to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to read the full article.

Becoming a member will keep you updated on the most important nutrition studies every month, and give you access to our back catalog of over 500 other articles.

NERD also includes access to Examine Personalized, which includes 150+ monthly summaries on the most important recent studies and access to our database of 10,000+ studies across 600+ health topics.

Stop wasting time and energy — we make it easy for you to stay on top of nutrition research

Try free for a week

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What were the findings?

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Free 7-day trial!

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What does this study really tell us?

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

The big picture

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Frequently Asked Questions

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

What should I know?

Subscribe to the Nutrition Examination Research Digest to unlock this article.

Already a member? Please login to read this article.

Other Articles in Issue #43 (May 2018)