REPs Discussion: Protein Powder

An article, posted on discussed the benefits of protein powder, in aiding muscle growth.

We would be interested to hear your thoughts…


Research explained that dietary protein had been found to increase post-exercise muscle protein synthesis rates and inhibit muscle protein breakdown during the post-exercise recovery period.

The real question for them was the need and merit to advocate additional supplementation for healthy individuals already achieving relatively high protein intakes from diet alone.

With so much ambiguity around this topic, researchers carried out an investigation (on 22 randomised controlled trials of participants on a resistance-type exercise training with one subject group receiving a protein supplement or a modified higher protein diet), with the following findings:

  • Protein supplements significantly augment the adaptive response of our muscles; increasing skeletal muscle mass and strength compared to non-consumers.
  • In ‘younger’ individuals (< 50 years) the introduction of protein supplements to resistance training regimes produced a staggering greater than fourfold increase in fat free mass accumulation, and an impressive demonstration of 20% greater strength in one rep max leg press compared to the placebo groups.
  • Results for the over fifties were intriguing. Examined individually, every study failed to observe a significant benefit on fat free mass gain from protein supplementation. But when compiled together, bringing about an increase in one’s power to detect an effect, it was found that supplementation actually increased fat free mass by 38%, compared to placebo, after three months of training.

Follow this link to read the research conclusions and for further information.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Leave your feedback in the comments section below.

5 responses to “REPs Discussion: Protein Powder

  1. I am an over 50 Fitness Teacher of 10 years. I use protein powder on days with my heaviest workload. I truly feel the benefit of using protein for quick recovery and increase of muscle mass is lean. I highly recommend it. Protein makes me feel full up hence I don’t overeat

  2. I think taking a protein shake after a work out or between meals is fine but I don’t think it’s essential to build muscle but it’s not going to hurt you either. Just make sure its Whey protein. The other thing you should keep in mind is that all those pioneering body builders of the 50’s and 60’s such as Steve Reeves didn’t have any protein shakes back in their day and they built a body which had a good deal of muscle just through eating the right kinds of foods-just a thought!

    • non believer

      Insufficient detail in the article to be equivocal. When did the protein shake supplementation take place? One would assume immediately before &/or after training, did the meal or normal protein intake take place at the same intervals(s)? Assumptions are no use in studies & analysis we need to know. Was the training status of the groups similar? The randomised element should make that a moot point. Where that neophyte or experienced overall? It is always easy to show a large increase in new trainers, trainers after a layoff etc. The increase seems rather large to me to be attributable to glugging some protein. Who paid for the research? My bias? I love real food, not ‘junk food for athletes’ that most unresearched, unproven & overpriced overprocessed supplements are.

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