We have been taught that the average American diet provides more than enough protein to maximize the stimulus-response of resistance training for muscle development. However, the findings of one study indicated otherwise. Seventeen strength trained young men performed four workouts a week with a three-phase periodized progression for a period of 10 weeks.
All of the young men took individualized protein/carbohydrate supplementation throughout the study. Each study participant was prescribed 1 gram of supplementation for every kilogram of body weight. For example, an 80 kilogram male (176 pounds) consumed 80 grams of supplement each training day. A 100 gram serving contained 40 grams of protein, 43 grams of carbohydrate, and 7 grams of creatine monohydrate.
At the conclusion of the 10-week training period, subjects who ingested the protein/carbohydrate supplement just before and after their workouts made significantly greater improvements in muscle mass and strength than those who ingested the supplement in the morning and evenings. The pre-post workout supplement group attained 87% greater increase in lean weight, 36% greater increase in bench press strength, and 27% greater increase in squat strength than the morning-evening supplement group. In addition, the pre-post training supplement group experienced significantly larger increases in muscle fiber cross-sectional areas and contractile protein content. These results led the researchers to conclude that the effects of resistance training may be enhanced by taking protein/carbohydrate supplementation in close time proximity to the training sessions.
Similar research was performed with middle aged and older adults over a longer training period. The first study included 46 women and men with an average age of 59 years. All of the program participants performed 11 resistance machine exercises and 20 minutes of aerobic activity, 2 or 3 days a week, for a 24 week period. Approximately half the study subjects consumed a protein/carbohydrate supplement immediately following each training session, and half did not do so. The supplement contained 24 grams of protein and 36 grams of carbohydrate.
The individuals who took the post-training supplement experienced 41% greater increase in lean weight and 84% greater decrease of fat weight than the non-supplement individuals. The results of this study indicated that post-training supplementation may enhance the effects of resistance training for increasing lean weight and decreasing fat weight in middle-aged and older adults.
The next research study, similar to the previous study with middle-aged and older adult participants, examined the effects of post-training supplementation on muscle, bone and blood pressure. One group of participants did not train and served as a control group. Eighteen participants performed the training program without supplementation and comprised the training group. Twenty-five participants performed the training program and consumed a post-training shake that contained 24 grams of protein and 36 grams of carbohydrate. These subjects, who also took supplemental calcium and vitamin D, comprised the training and nutrition group.
At the completion of the study, the control group experienced a 2.1 pound decrease in lean weight, a 1% decrease in bone mineral density, and a mean increase of 4.5 mmHg in resting blood pressure. The training group experienced a 3.9 pound increase in lean weight, no change in bone mineral density, and a mean decrease of 0.4 mmHg in resting blood pressure. The training and nutrition group attained a 5.2 pound increase in lean weight, a 1% increase in bone mineral density, and a mean decrease of 7.4 mmHg in resting blood pressure. These findings suggested that the post-training shake contributed to the greater improvements in lean weight, bone mineral density, and resting blood pressure experienced by the training and nutrition group participants.
The protein supplementation recommendations called for approximately 20 grams for people weighing between 110lbs. and 132 lbs., 24 grams for people between 132 lbs. and 154 lbs., 28 grams for people between 154 lbs. and 176 lbs., 32 grams for people between 176 lbs. and 198 lbs. and 36 grams for people between 198 lbs. and 220 lbs.Resource: AAHF