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Open AccessArticle

Effects of Whey and Pea Protein Supplementation on Post-Eccentric Exercise Muscle Damage: A Randomized Trial

Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Biology, Appalachian State University, North Carolina Research Campus, Kannapolis, NC 28608, USA
Department of Health and Exercise Science, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 28608, USA
China Academy of Sport and Health Sciences, Beijing Sport University, Beijing 100084, China
Nutrition and Health Research & Development, Roquette, Geneva, IL 60134, USA
Nutrition and Health Research & Development, Roquette, 62136 Lestrem, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(8), 2382;
Received: 14 July 2020 / Revised: 31 July 2020 / Accepted: 7 August 2020 / Published: 9 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition and Muscle Recovery)
This randomized trial compared pea protein, whey protein, and water-only supplementation on muscle damage, inflammation, delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS), and physical fitness test performance during a 5-day period after a 90-min eccentric exercise bout in non-athletic non-obese males (n = 92, ages 18–55 years). The two protein sources (0.9 g protein/kg divided into three doses/day) were administered under double blind procedures. The eccentric exercise protocol induced significant muscle damage and soreness, and reduced bench press and 30-s Wingate performance. Whey protein supplementation significantly attenuated post-exercise blood levels for biomarkers of muscle damage compared to water-only, with large effect sizes for creatine kinase and myoglobin during the fourth and fifth days of recovery (Cohen’s d > 0.80); pea protein versus water supplementation had an intermediate non-significant effect (Cohen’s d < 0.50); and no significant differences between whey and pea protein were found. Whey and pea protein compared to water supplementation had no significant effects on post-exercise DOMS and the fitness tests. In conclusion, high intake of whey protein for 5 days after intensive eccentric exercise mitigated the efflux of muscle damage biomarkers, with the intake of pea protein having an intermediate effect. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein; exercise; muscle damage; creatine kinase; myoglobin; inflammation protein; exercise; muscle damage; creatine kinase; myoglobin; inflammation
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Nieman, D.C.; Zwetsloot, K.A.; Simonson, A.J.; Hoyle, A.T.; Wang, X.; Nelson, H.K.; Lefranc-Millot, C.; Guérin-Deremaux, L. Effects of Whey and Pea Protein Supplementation on Post-Eccentric Exercise Muscle Damage: A Randomized Trial. Nutrients 2020, 12, 2382.

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