Kirwan, R. D., Kordick, L. K., McFarland, S., Lancaster, D., & Miles, M. P. (2009). Protein in food versus a dietary supplement after strength training in collegiate football athletes. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 2317.

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This study determined if muscle hypertrophy and strength gains differed between athletes consuming protein from dietary sources compared to those consuming protein in an exercise recovery supplement. Performance measures (bench press, back squat, hang clean, 10 yard sprint, and vertical jump) and body composition were compared in redshirt football players who completed an 11-week protocol of weight training followed by either protein in supplement form (N = 6; 28 grams protein) or protein in foods (N = 9, 8-28 grams protein) three days per week. Ss completed 3-day diet diaries to determine macronutrient intake and had DEXA scans to determine body composition both pre- and post-training.

Without inclusion of the post-workout protein intake, both groups had similar protein intakes in their diets. Similar increases in lean body mass were measured in both groups for the total experiment. No significant differences were found between the two groups in performance variables.

Implication. The consumption of protein in the form of a recovery supplement shake did not offer any performance or lean body mass advantages over consumption of protein in the form of food.

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