Protein drinks 'may stave off muscle pain'

6th June 2011

Adults who get muscle pain after exercising may like to try supping a protein drink in a bid to help the problem, after scientists discovered it may be an effective way to reduce the issue.

Researchers at Colorado State University showed that drinking the special drinks can help to maximise the effect of exercise, as well as helping older people who may experience muscle pain to build stronger muscles than those who drink carbohydrate-based drinks.

Sixteen participants aged 37 and upwards were tested in the study. They were asked to use a treadmill for 45 minutes three times a week for six weeks. Half were given a protein drink to consume afterwards and half were given a carbohydrate drink.

Metabolic pathways were measured to discover the structure of new growth in the muscles, and it was discovered that those which had been given the protein drink had responded more positively.

Gerald Weissemann, editor-in-chief of the FASEB Journal, where the study was published, said: "If you want to age gracefully, this study shows that proteins taken after exercise keep your muscles strong and fit. You've got to feed your body with the proper nutrients after a work-out. Fortunately, protein shakes are cheap, readily available and some say taste good."

Whey and protein drinks are used by bodybuilders to help increase muscle.

Posted by Jeanette Royston

M. M. Robinson et al. "Long-term synthesis rates of skeletal muscle DNA and protein are higher during aerobic training in older humans than in sedentary young subjects but are not altered by protein supplementation." The FASEB Journal, June 2011.

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