High-protein supplements boosts recovery, blood oxygen levels in elite basketballers: Study

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / XiXinXing
© Getty Images / XiXinXing
Elite basketballers taking a high-protein post exercise supplement experienced accelerated recovery. Their blood oxygen levels were also found to be higher.

Data from a randomized, counterbalanced crossover study, published in Nutrition,​ indicated that high protein supplementation (equivalent to 36% of all calories) further enhanced increases in cerebral oxygen saturation observed during a cycling test.

High protein was also found to attenuate increases in cerebral blood perfusion which led to a 16% longer cycling time, report scientists from the University of Taipei (Taiwan) and the Competitor Institute of Sports Nutrition in Beijing.

“The key finding of the present study is that increasing protein content in a carbohydrate-based supplementation after an exercise recovery significantly increased cerebral oxygenation with less blood demand in the frontal brain during the next high-intensity exercise challenge,” ​they wrote. “This brain hemodynamic change occurred in parallel with a 16% improvement in high-intensity endurance performance.”

Study details

protein scoops
Image © iStock

The researchers recruited 15 Division 1 basketball players aged between 18 and 20 to participate in their study. The young men were randomly assigned to consume carbohydrate-based drink formulated with high-protein (36% of total calories) or an isocaloric low-protein (12% of total calories) immediately after a one hour cycling test at 70% VO2max. The men were allowed to rest for two house and then challenged on the exercise bike at 80% VO2max.

Results showed that the high-protein group recovered faster after the cycling. In addition, consuming the high-protein supplementation led to an enhancement in cerebral oxygen saturation during the second cycling test.

“It is mechanistically unclear how protein supplementation during post-exercise recovery acutely increased oxygen saturation during high-intensity exercise. Protein is a major nitrogen source in diet, which is essential for growth. One possibility accounted for the increased oxygen saturation during exercise could be associated with better endothelial adaptation after more protein supplementation,” ​wrote the researchers. “An alternative possibility accounted for the hemodynamic adaptation after high-protein supplementation is an improved brain mitochondria function.”

The researchers also noted that carbohydrates and not protein is the main fuel for rapid ATP synthesis during high-intensity exercise, and they proposed that the benefits observed from protein supplementation may be linked to improved brain metabolism during recovery.

“In this study, the observed improvement in high-intensity endurance performance may be explained by the oxygen-sparing effect of whey protein, which alleviates blood competition between brain and periphery (such as muscle for oxygen and skin for heat dissipation),” ​they added.

Source: Nutrition
Volume 53, Pages 34–37, doi:
“Protein supplementation enhances cerebral oxygenation during exercise in elite basketball players”
Authors: C-F. Ho et al.

Related news

Related products

show more

DHA ORIGINS™: The sustainable potential of algae.

DHA ORIGINS™: The sustainable potential of algae.

Fermentalg | 12-May-2021 | Technical / White Paper

Consumers find out about nutritional quality by closely scrutinizing the labeling and list of ingredients (clean label). They are interested in the provenance...

Focus, Memory & Mood for Growing eSports Market

Focus, Memory & Mood for Growing eSports Market

Verdure Sciences | 10-May-2021 | Infographic

The growing eSports market is driving demand for healthy ways to maintain focus and mental clarity to reach peak performance, remain calm under pressure,...

Reducing glucosamine tablet size

Reducing glucosamine tablet size

TSI Group LTD – Healthy Begins Here | 01-May-2021 | Technical / White Paper

Tablet manufacturers have to constantly balance creating a tablet size that consumers will take with a product matrix that they will value. Glucosamine...

Plant-based Joint Relief in 5 Days

Plant-based Joint Relief in 5 Days

NXT USA, Inc. | 19-Apr-2021 | Data Sheet

Current supplements for joint comfort tend to be animal-based, with limited efficacy, not fast acting AND long lasting, and do not help restore healthy...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars