New pilot study points to potential advantages of protein supplementation pre-exercise

By Adi Menayang

- Last updated on GMT

Getty Images / Jovanmandic
Getty Images / Jovanmandic

Related tags Protein Casein

Male participants who fasted and then ingested protein before running on a treadmill exhibited higher post-exercise energy expenditure, which is linked to fat oxidation and weight loss.

The researchers found that after participants ingested 25 g of whey protein isolate or 25 g of casein protein 30 minutes before moderate-intensity treadmill exercise, their post-exercise energy expenditure was higher compared to pre-exercise consumption of 25 g maltodextrin (a carbohydrate) or a non-caloric control.

Additionally, they found that there was significantly more fat oxidized following ingestion of casein versus whey protein.

“Initial research has indicated that pre-exercise protein feeding may facilitate fat oxidation while minimizing protein degradation during exercise, but more research [was] needed to determine if the source of protein further influences such outcomes,”​ the wrote in their report.

The study, conducted by researchers from Lindenwood University, Texas Woman’s University, and the University of South Carolina, was published​ in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Study details

Eleven healthy, recreationally active college-aged males participated in the study. To be included, they should ingest no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day and abstained from any form of nutritional supplementation other than protein and multi-vitamins for 30 days prior to beginning the study protocol.

The trial had a randomized, double-blind, and crossover design.

There were four different conditions in the study: Ingesting 25 g of a whey protein isolate, 25 g of casein protein, 25 g of maltodextrin, or a non-caloric control. After ingesting one of the four conditions, participants did treadmill exercise protocols, after which researchers assessed their metabolic rate.

All participants went through all conditions in four separate testing sessions.

Dymatize, a Dallas-based sports nutrition manufacturer, supplied all the supplements and funded the study. It also assisted with design of the study, but was not part of analyzing or interpreting the data.

“Additional research is needed with longer exercise durations, varying exercise intensities, and nutrients consumed to better determine the impact of these findings,”​ the researchers said.

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
Published online,"Metabolic impact of protein feeding prior to moderate-intensity treadmill exercise in a fasted state: a pilot study"
Authors: Bradley T. Gieske, et al

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