The purpose of this study was to investigate the ability of whey-protein and leucine supplementation to enhance physical and cognitive performance and body composition. Thirty moderately fit participants completed a modified Air Force fitness test, a computer-based cognition test, and a dual-energy X-ray-absorptiometry scan for body composition before and after supplementing their daily diet for 8 wk with either 19.7 g of whey protein and 6.2 g leucine (WPL) or a calorie-equivalent placebo (P). Bench-press performance increased significantly from Week 1 to Week 8 in the WPL group, whereas the increase in the P group was not significant. Push-up performance increased significantly for WPL, and P showed a nonsignificant increase. Total mass, fat-free mass, and lean body mass all increased significantly in the WPL group but showed no change in the P group. No differences were observed within or between groups for crunches, chin-ups, 3-mile-run time, or cognition. The authors conclude that supplementing with whey protein and leucine may provide an advantage to people whose performance benefits from increased upper body strength and/or lean body mass.
Keywords: nutritional supplementation, exercise, body composition, ergogenics