Dietary protein versus supplemental protein in collegiate football athletes
Kirwan, Rochelle Dian
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine if muscle hypertrophy and strength gains in athletes can be equally attained through dietary protein intake versus protein supplementation. Methods: Performance measures, body composition, and blood lipids were compared in redshirt football players who completed an eleven week protocol of either protein supplementation (S, n=6, 28 grams 3x/week) versus whole food protein (NS, n=9, 8-28 grams 3x/week). Subjects completed two 3-day diet records to determine nutrient intake. Results: Both groups reported meeting their protein requirements, but caloric intake was below the recommendation. Similar increases (P=0.003) in lean body mass were measured in the S (pre 72.2 ± 6.6, post 73.0 ± 6.3 kg) and NS groups (69.3 ± 8.6, post 70.9 ± 8.8 kg). No significant differences were found between the two groups in performance variables. For example, bench press increased (P=0.01) from 251 ± 32 to 264 ± 36 pounds in the S group and from 245 ± 26 to 256 ± 28 in the NS group. Conclusion: Both S and NS groups consumed on average at least the recommended protein intake and protein supplementation did not offer any performance or anabolic advantage over whole food protein.