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Does Beef Protein Supplementation Improve Body Composition and Exercise Performance? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Department of Systems Biology, University of Alcalá, 28805 Madrid, Spain
NutriScience, Nutrition & Health Sciences, 14002 Córdoba, Spain
Faculty of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid and Research Institute ‘i+12’ (Hospital 12 de Octubre), 28670 Madrid, Spain
Fissac-Physiology, health and physical activity, 28015 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2019, 11(6), 1429;
Received: 29 May 2019 / Revised: 17 June 2019 / Accepted: 21 June 2019 / Published: 25 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition Support for Athletic Performance)
PDF [2454 KB, uploaded 25 June 2019]


Protein supplementation might improve body composition and exercise performance. Supplements containing whey protein (WP) have received the most attention, but other protein sources such as beef protein (BP) are gaining popularity. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared the effects of exercise training combined with BP, WP or no protein supplementation (NP), on body composition or exercise performance. Secondary endpoints included intervention effects on total protein intake and hematological parameters. Seven studies (n = 270 participants) were included. No differences were found between BP and WP for total protein intake (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.04, p = 0.892), lean body mass (LBM) (SMD = −0.01, p = 0.970) or fat mass (SMD = 0.07, p = 0.760). BP significantly increased total daily protein intake (SMD = 0.68, p < 0.001), LBM (SMD = 0.34, p = 0.049) and lower-limb muscle strength (SMD = 0.40, p = 0.014) compared to NP, but no significant differences were found between both conditions for fat mass (SMD = 0.15, p = 0.256), upper-limb muscle strength (SMD = 0.16, p = 0.536) or total iron intake (SMD = 0.29, p = 0.089). In summary, BP provides similar effects to WP on protein intake and body composition and, compared to NP, might be an effective intervention to increase total daily protein intake, LBM and lower-limb muscle strength. View Full-Text
Keywords: resistance training; exercise; nutrition; muscle mass; hypertrophy resistance training; exercise; nutrition; muscle mass; hypertrophy

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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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Valenzuela, P.L.; Mata, F.; Morales, J.S.; Castillo-García, A.; Lucia, A. Does Beef Protein Supplementation Improve Body Composition and Exercise Performance? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients 2019, 11, 1429.

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