March 15, 2011 -- Eating whey protein may help build muscle mass even if the dairy substance is taken a day after a workout session, a new study indicates.
Researchers at McMaster University in Canada and the University of Nottingham in England recruited 15 young men, all experienced in performing resistance exercise.
The participants underwent testing to measure the rate of muscle building under two conditions: after eating 15 grams of whey protein at rest and 24 hours after a round of resistance exercise.
During the exercise portion of the study, each participant performed these activities: lifted a heavy load on a leg extension machine until fatigue; a light load until fatigue; or a light load in which the workout session was stopped before fatigue set in.
Whey Protein After Workout
Each man returned to the laboratory 24 hours later and ate 15 grams of whey protein, a common dairy constituent.
Results indicate that regardless of the type of exercise load, muscle building increased after eating whey.
The findings suggest that muscles may make better use of dietary amino acids eaten 24 hours after exercise, regardless of exercise load as long as the exercise is being performed until fatigue.
The researchers say their findings suggest insights about how exercise can provide benefits to lean muscle mass growth and maintenance.
The study is published in the April 2011 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.