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Nutrients 2018, 10(9), 1248; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10091248

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

1
Warrior Research Center, School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
2
Molecular and Applied Sciences Laboratory, School of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
3
Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine (Auburn Campus), Auburn, AL 36849, USA
4
Neurorehabilitation Informatics Lab, Department of Health, Kinesiology, & Recreation, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA
5
Lockwood LLC, Draper, UT 84020, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 July 2018 / Revised: 24 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 6 September 2018
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Abstract

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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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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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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