Protein improves muscle gains and strength during weight training

Researchers reviewed 22 studies covering 680 people, aged 19 to 72, who took protein supplements during weight training. Before training, participants were consuming an average of about a half-gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. For the study, doctors added 42 grams of whey, casein, and/or milk proteins per day, or a placebo.

After six weeks of weight training, compared to placebo, those who took protein added 1.5 pounds more fat-free mass, with those younger than age 50 adding 1.8 pounds of fat-free mass. Also for the protein group, both types of muscle fibers—those for running marathons, and those for sprints—increased by about 50 percent, and the maximum single-repetition lift outperformed placebo by 30 pounds.

Doctors concluded protein supplements are an effective way to improve resistance-type exercise and support healthy aging.

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