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We examined the effect of a protein supplement on muscular strength and body composition during 6 months of a 5 days/week concurrent strength and endurance training program. Sedentary males (n = 26) and females (n = 25), 18–25 years, were randomly assigned to receive a protein (PRO, 42 g/serving) or carbohydrate (CON) supplement twice daily. Strength and body composition (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) were assessed at baseline, 3 (3M), and 6 (6M) months. Protein intake was higher in PRO (PRO: 2.2 g/kg; CON: 1.1 g/kg; p < .001). Females in both groups gained similar strength at 3M and 6M in bench press and hip sled. Males in PRO gained more bench press strength at 3M (PRO: 24.6 ± 3.2 kg; CON: 14.3 ± 3.8 kg; p = .06) and 6M (PRO: 34.4 ± 4.3 kg; CON: 18.7 ± 5.1 kg; p = .03) and hip sled strength at 3M (PRO: 67.7 ± 9.2 kg; CON: 40.8 ± 10.8 kg, p = .07) and 6M (PRO: 94.0 ± 10.6 kg; CON: 65.1 ± 12.4 kg; p = .09) compared with CON. Females in PRO experienced a greater reduction in fat mass over the course of the study (6M) than CON (PRO: −1.7 ± 0.5 kg; CON: 0.1 ± 0.5 kg; p = .06). Changes in lean mass were similar for females in PRO and CON. Loss in fat mass was similar for males in PRO and CON at 3M and 6M. Males in PRO gained more lean mass at 3M compared with CON (PRO: 3.2 ± 0.3 kg; CON: 2.2 ± 0.4 kg; p = .1) but similar gains at 6M (PRO: 2.6 ± 0.4 kg; CON: 2.2 ± 0.5 kg; p = .6). The results of this study demonstrate that PRO used during a concurrent training program may augment positive changes in body composition in young sedentary males and females, and strength gains in males.
Vukovich is with the Dept. of Health and Nutritional Sciences, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD. Binkley and Specker are with the Ethel A. Martin Program in Human Nutrition, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD. Ormsbee and Willingham are with the Dept. of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences, Institute of Sports Sciences and Medicine, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. Ormsbee is also with the Discipline of Biokinetics, Exercise, and Leisure Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. Marchant is with Fort Collins Family Medicine Residency Program, University of Colorado Health, Ffort Collins, CO.