Effect of a 10-week strength training program and recovery drink on body composition, muscular strength and endurance, and anaerobic power and capacity

Joseph A Chromiak, Brianne Smedley, William Carpenter, Robert Brown, Yun S Koh, John G Lamberth, Lee Ann Joe, Ben R Abadie, Greg Altorfer
Nutrition 2004, 20 (5): 420-7

OBJECTIVE: We investigated whether postexercise consumption of a supplement containing whey protein, amino acids, creatine, and carbohydrate combined with a strength training program promotes greater gains in fat-free mass (FFM), muscle strength and endurance, and anaerobic performance compared with an isocaloric, carbohydrate-only control drink combined with strength training.

METHODS: The study was double blind and randomized, and the experimental supplement was compared with a carbohydrate-only control. Forty-one males (n = 20 in control group, n = 21 in the supplement group; mean age, 22.2 y) participated in a 4 d/wk, 10-wk periodized strength training program. Subjects had to complete at least 70% of the workouts. Before and after 10 wk of strength training, subjects were tested for body composition by using hydrostatic weighing and skinfold thicknesses, one repetition maximum strength and muscular endurance for the bench press and 45-degree leg press, and anaerobic performance using a 30-s Wingate test. Thirty-three subjects (80.5%) completed the training program (n = 15 in control group, n = 18 in the supplement); these 33 subjects also completed all post-training test procedures. Data were analyzed with two-way analysis of variance with repeated measures on time. P <== 0.05 was set as statistically significant. All statistical analyses, including calculation of effect size and power, were completed with SPSS 11.0.

RESULTS: Across groups, FFM increased during 10 wk of strength training. Although there was no statistically significant time x group interaction for FFM, there was a trend toward a greater increase in FFM for the supplement group (+3.4 kg) compared with the control group (+1.5 kg; P = 0.077). The effect size (eta(2) = 0.100) was moderately large. Percentage of body fat declined and fat mass was unchanged; there were no differences between groups. One repetition maximum strength for the bench press and 45-degree leg press increased, but there were no differences between groups. Muscular endurance expressed as the number of repetitions completed with 85% of the one repetition maximum was unchanged; external work, which was estimated as repetitions completed x resistance used, increased for the 45-degree leg press but not for the bench press over the 10-wk training period; there were no time x group interactions for either measurement. Anaerobic power and capacity improved, but there were no differences between groups for these variables or for fatigue rate.

CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of a recovery drink after strength training workouts did not promote greater gains in FFM compared with consumption of a carbohydrate-only drink; however, a trend toward a greater increase in FFM in the supplement group suggests the need for longer-term studies. Performance variables such as muscle strength and endurance and anaerobic performance were not improved when compared with the carbohydrate-only group.

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