Food vs Protein Supplements

Evan Stevens

The final talk in this session was a breath of fresh air for a lot of us. It dealt with the comparison of regular foods versus the use of protein supplements. What researchers wanted to know was if regular food was as good, if not better, than supplementing with protein powders and drinks post-exercise to attain the best recovery and performance outcomes. They found that regular food, when taken post-workout, can have the same benefits as post-workout supplements.

That said, the foods they used were made sure to match the protein and glucose content that recovery drinks often provide. To this end, the researchers used a high protein type of cheese and regular bread.

Food Vs Protein Supplement Findings

Participants consumed cheese and bread to levels that were not significantly different from those seen in formulated recovery drinks. The researchers found that muscle damage and pro-inflammatory markers decreased. In addition, anti-inflammatory markers (such as interleukin 10) and markers of muscle repair were increased. These cost benefits could be very promising, as a tub of adequate protein powder can often be quite expensive.

Protein Supplement

The problem is that the foods given were chosen for a specific purpose. They had a good profile of amino acids (high in leucine for example). And they provided enough substrates under monitored conditions to achieve the same benefits as supplemented formulas. The applicability may be more difficult under more free-living training conditions; we need better understanding of the exact food profiles we are looking for.

Take Away

Food can be a just as good and far less expensive alternative to recovery powders and formulas. However, the specificity of the food and the monitoring conditions of the study are difficult to translate to a free-living environment. Better labelling and understanding of food choices is needed before applicability can really come into play.


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});
You Might Like:

Woman athlete drinking coffee overlooking water

Caffeine May Help or Hinder Athletic Performance

Most people have heard that caffeine enhances athletic performance, in fact, current guidelines recommend ingesting 3-9mg/kg 60 minutes prior to exercise. However, if you have ever tried it for yourself you might have found that...
Sprinters doing the hurdles on a track

The Biomechanics of Breathing During Sprinting

Sprinting is one of the most physically demanding tasks that the human body can perform. It requires an incredible amount of explosive power, tissue resilience, and motor coordination, in conjunction with a vast body of...
Young female athlete jogger resting by a lake

Are There Benefits to Working out on Cannabis?

Not so long ago, merely suggesting that there could be any benefit to exercising on cannabis would have been absurd – but with its recent legislation, and a growing body of research exploring its many...
CrossFit athlete performing pull ups

Are Shoulder Injuries Common in CrossFit?

Over the last decade, CrossFit has become one of the most popular modes of exercise on the planet. And really, given the fact that it offers a way to build strength and power, increase endurance...
Young woman sitting on edge looks out at view

How to Live Longer: What You Need to Know

Ah, the age-old question: “how to live longer?” Something that has plagued our society since the dawn of time. Seriously, it appears as if we have forever been searching for the fountain of youth. Constantly...


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

A Group of runners running in a running race

Can Intermittent Fasting and Exercise Prevent Cancer?

Box full of vegetables.

How Long Does It Take To Reverse The Effects Of A Bad Diet?

Woman eating chocolate bar.

Does Dark Chocolate Aid In Muscle Recovery?

People eating burgers

Processed vs. Unprocessed Foods

Man lifting weights

Regaining Homeostasis With Diet & Exercise

woman running on a treadmill

Exercise: Is It Passion Or Addiction?

man asleep on a bed with white sheets

How Intermittent Fasting Affects Sleep

woman standing on a beach flexing both her arms

Prolonged Fasting for Health & Longevity

man rock climbing outside

Grip Strength Is An Indicator of Whole Body Strength

Woman cutting a pear in her kitchen

Canadian Food Guide- A Dietary Guideline

Leave a Reply