Skip Navigation LinksHome > March 2013 - Volume 45 - Issue 3 > Protein Supplementation during Resistance-Type Exercise Trai...
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318272fcdb
Applied Sciences

Protein Supplementation during Resistance-Type Exercise Training in the Elderly

LEENDERS, MARIKA1,2; VERDIJK, LEX B.1,2; VAN DER HOEVEN, LETTY1,2; VAN KRANENBURG, JANNEAU1,2; NILWIK, RACHEL2; WODZIG, WILL K. W. H.3; SENDEN, JOAN M. G.1,2; KEIZER, HANS A.2; VAN LOON, LUC J. C.1,2

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Abstract

Introduction: Resistance training has been well established as an effective treatment strategy to increase skeletal muscle mass and strength in the elderly. We assessed whether dietary protein supplementation can further augment the adaptive response to prolonged resistance-type exercise training in healthy elderly men and women.

Methods: Healthy elderly men (n = 31, 70 ± 1 yr) and women (n = 29, 70 ± 1 yr) were randomly assigned to a progressive, 24-wk resistance-type exercise training program with or without additional protein supplementation (15 g·d−1). Muscle hypertrophy was assessed on a whole-body Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), limb (computed tomography), and muscle fiber (biopsy) level. Strength was assessed regularly by 1-repetition maximum (RM) strength testing. Functional capacity was assessed with a sit-to-stand and handgrip test.

Results: One-RM strength increased by 45% ± 6% versus 40% ± 3% (women) and 41% ± 4% versus 44% ± 3% (men) in the placebo versus protein group, respectively (P < 0.001), with no differences between groups. Leg muscle mass (women, 4% ± 1% vs 3% ± 1%; men, 3% ± 1% vs 3% ± 1%) and quadriceps cross-sectional area (women, 9% ± 1% vs 9% ± 1%; men, 9% ± 1% vs 10% ± 1%) increased similarly in the placebo versus protein groups (P < 0.001). Type II muscle fiber size increased over time in both placebo and protein groups (25% ± 13% vs 30% ± 9% and 23% ± 12% vs 22% ± 10% in the women and men, respectively). Sit-to-stand improved by 18% ± 2% and 19% ± 2% in women and men, respectively (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: Prolonged resistance-type exercise training increases skeletal muscle mass and strength, augments functional capacity, improves glycemia and lipidemia, and reduces blood pressure in healthy elderly men and women. Additional protein supplementation (15 g·d−1) does not further increase muscle mass, strength, and/or functional capacity.

©2013The American College of Sports Medicine

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