yet more reasons for post exercise protein
Postexercise protein supplementation improves health and muscle soreness during basic military training in marine recruits
Paul J. Flakoll,1,2,3 Tom Judy,4 Kim Flinn,4 Christopher Carr,2 and Scott Flinn4
1Center for Designing Food to Improve Nutrition, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011; Departments of 2Surgery and 3Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee 37232; and 4Department of Sports Medicine, Branch Medical Clinic, United States Marine Corps, Parris Island, South Carolina 29902
Submitted 31 July 2003 ; accepted in final form 21 November 2003
Elevated postexercise amino acid availability has been demonstrated to enhance muscle protein synthesis acutely, but the long-term impact of postexercise protein supplementation on variables such as health, muscle soreness, and function are unclear. Healthy male US Marine recruits from six platoons (US Marine Corps Base, Parris Island, SC; n = 387; 18.9 ± 0.1 yr, 74.7 ± 1.1 kg, 13.8 ± 0.4% body fat) were randomly assigned to three treatments within each platoon. Nutrients supplemented immediately postexercise during the 54-day basic training were either placebo (0 g carbohydrate, 0 g protein, 0 g fat), control (8, 0, 3), or protein supplement (8, 10, 3). Subjects and observers making measurements and data analysis were blinded to subject groupings. Compared with placebo and control groups, the protein-supplemented group had an average of 33% fewer total medical visits, 28% fewer visits due to bacterial/viral infections, 37% fewer visits due to muscle/joint problems, and 83% fewer visits due to heat exhaustion. Recruits experiencing heat exhaustion had greater body mass, lean, fat, and water losses. Muscle soreness immediately postexercise was reduced by protein supplementation vs. placebo and control groups on both days 34 and 54. Postexercise protein supplementation may not only enhance muscle protein deposition but it also has significant potential to positively impact health, muscle soreness, and tissue hydration during prolonged intense exercise training, suggesting a potential therapeutic approach for the prevention of health problems in severely stressed exercising populations.