A post-strength training shake with just whey works better than a shake with whey and carbs
Bodybuilders, fitness fanatics and other strength athletes who use shakes after doing a workout will do best to just put whey in them, and not to add carbohydrates. Adding fast carbohydrates to whey has no positive effects on muscles, but does delay the decrease in fat mass.
The researchers, who work at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland, published the results of a twelve-week study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, in which three groups of twenty four men participated.
The men had only been training for a month with weights. They all had approximately the same diet and used an identical training scheme.
Soon after each training session the men drank a post-workout shake. One group drank a shake containing 35 g of the fast carbohydrate maltodextrin [CHO], the second group a shake containing 38 g whey concentrate [equivalent to 30 g whey protein] [Protein], and the third group a shake containing 35 g maltodextrin and 38 g whey concentrate [Protein + CHO].
At the start and end of the twelve weeks the researchers measured the body composition and strength of the subjects.
All subjects built up more lean body mass [FFM] [in other words muscle mass]. But the increase was greatest in the subjects who only drank whey in the shake.
The subjects who had been given only carbohydrates lost no body fat [FM]; the subjects that had been given whey did lose body fat. The decrease in fat mass was most in the subjects who had been given whey only.
All subjects did gain strength. Their MVC and 1RM increased. There were no statistically significant differences for these between the groups.
The researchers are understated in their conclusions. "This first long-term study supports the acute protein balance studies showing that adding carbohydrates to postexercise protein ingestion may not have a large effect on the resistance training adaptations", they wrote in the last paragraphs of their publication.
"Whey proteins, however, increased abdominal fat loss and relative fat-free mass adaptations in response to resistance training when compared to fast acting carbohydrates."
"Therefore, if the main goal is to maximize fat loss responses to resistance training especially from abdominal area without compromising increases in muscle hypertrophy, whey protein instead of carbohydrates can be recommended for the postexercise nutrition."
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Dec 16;12:48.
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Nutrition & Strength Training