Whey protein supplementation does not accelerate recovery from a single bout of eccentric exercise

Luuk Hilkens, Jolien De Bock, Joris Kretzers, Alwine F. M. Kardinaal, Esther G. Floris-Vollenbroek, Petra A. M. J. Scholtens, Astrid M. H. Horstmanc, Luc J. C. van Loon, Jan-Willem Van Dijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The current double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial with two parallel groups aimed to assess the impact of whey protein supplementation on recovery of muscle function and muscle soreness following eccentric exercise. During a 9-day period, forty recreationally active males received twice daily supplementation with either whey protein (PRO; 60 g/day) or an iso-energetic amount of carbohydrate (CON). Muscle function and soreness were assessed before, and 0, 3, 24, 48, and 72 h after performing 100 drop jumps. Recovery of isometric maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) did not significantly differ between groups (timextreatment,P= 0.56). In contrast, the recovery of isokinetic MVC at 90 degrees center dot s(-1)was faster in CON as opposed to PRO (timextreatment interaction,P= 0.044). Recovery of isokinetic MVC at 180 degrees center dot s(-1)was also faster in CON as opposed to PRO (timextreatment interaction,P= 0.011). Recovery of countermovement jump performance did not differ between groups (timextreatment interaction,P= 0.52). Muscle soreness, CK and CRP showed a transient increase over time (P<0.001), with no differences between groups. In conclusion, whey protein supplementation does not accelerate recovery of muscle function or attenuate muscle soreness and inflammation during 3 days of recovery from a single bout of eccentric exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-331
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number3
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021


  • Eccentric exercise
  • recovery
  • muscle function
  • muscle soreness
  • protein supplementation
  • carbohydrates

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