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Open AccessArticle

Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation on Physical Performance and Body Composition in Army Initial Entry Training Soldiers

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Warrior Research Center, School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
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Molecular and Applied Sciences Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
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Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (Auburn Campus), Auburn, AL 36849, USA
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Neurorehabilitation Informatics Lab, Department of Health, Kinesiology, & Recreation, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
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Lockwood LLC, Draper, UT 84020, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(9), 1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10091248
Received: 21 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
We investigated the effects of whey protein (WP) supplementation on body composition and physical performance in soldiers participating in Army Initial Entry Training (IET). Sixty-nine, male United States Army soldiers volunteered for supplementation with either twice daily whey protein (WP, 77 g/day protein, ~580 kcal/day; n = 34, age = 19 ± 1 year, height = 173 ± 6 cm, weight = 73.4 ± 12.7 kg) or energy-matched carbohydrate (CHO) drinks (CHO, 127 g/day carbohydrate, ~580 kcal/day; n = 35, age = 19 ± 1 year, height = 173 ± 5 cm, weight = 72.3 ± 10.9 kg) for eight weeks during IET. Physical performance was evaluated using the Army Physical Fitness Test during weeks two and eight. Body composition was assessed using 7-site skinfold assessment during weeks one and nine. Post-testing push-up performance averaged 7 repetitions higher in the WP compared to the CHO group (F = 10.1, p < 0.001) when controlling for baseline. There was a significant decrease in fat mass at post-training (F = 4.63, p = 0.04), but no significant change in run performance (F = 3.50, p = 0.065) or fat-free mass (F = 0.70, p = 0.41). Effect sizes for fat-free mass gains were large for both the WP (Cohen’s d = 0.44) and CHO (Cohen’s d = 0.42) groups. WP had a large effect on fat mass (FM) loss (Cohen’s d = −0.67), while CHO had a medium effect (Cohen’s d = −0.40). Twice daily supplementation with WP improved push-up performance and potentiated reductions in fat mass during IET training in comparison to CHO supplementation. View Full-Text
Keywords: soldiers; military; nutrition; recovery; basic training soldiers; military; nutrition; recovery; basic training
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McAdam, J.S.; McGinnis, K.D.; Beck, D.T.; Haun, C.T.; Romero, M.A.; Mumford, P.W.; Roberson, P.A.; Young, K.C.; Lohse, K.R.; Lockwood, C.M.; Roberts, M.D.; Sefton, J.M. Effect of Whey Protein Supplementation on Physical Performance and Body Composition in Army Initial Entry Training Soldiers. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1248.

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