In scientific research, very few supplements have been shown to accelerate recovery after exercise. In the first study ever designed to specifically examine the effects of supplementation on muscle recovery after resistance training, VP2 Whey Isolate was shown to reduce markers of muscle damage and speed the rate of muscle recovery.
Published last month in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, this study is the first study to examine the effects of short-term supplementation on muscle proteins and force recovery after resistance training.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled fashion, seventeen healthy participants (18-35yrs) were randomly assigned to one of two supplement groups: i) VP2 Whey Isolate or ii) carbohydrate. Subjects consumed 1gm/kg/body wt/day of supplement, (divided into two serving a day) for 14 days following an intense leg workout designed to induce muscle damage.
Blood samples were taken before and after the leg workout, and again in the hours and days following the exercise session. Creatine kinase is a muscle-specific enzyme that “leaks” out of damaged cells into the blood. Blood creatine kinase levels were assessed during the 14 day recovery period as this enzyme is a well-established marker of muscle damage.
Maximum muscle force (using a Cybex dynamometer) was used to assess the rate of muscle recovery up to 14 days after.
Results showed that supplementation with VP2 Whey Isolate provided a significantly faster rate of recovery in isokinetic knee extension strength after 7 days. Interestingly, VP2 supplementation provided significantly quicker short-term recovery (72 hours and 96 hours) after the workout as well as 7 days after the leg workout.
Plasma creatine kinase analyses showed that VP2 supplementation provided significantly lower levels of this enzyme, thus indicating less muscle damage and fast recovery at the cellular level.
This graph shows the effect of supplementation on plasma creatine kinase levels after exercise-induced muscle damage.
Supplementation with VP2 (shown in red) resulted in lower levels of creatine kinase at almost every time point. Supplementation with VP2 also resulted in a more rapid return to maximum muscle force. Combined, these findings suggest that VP2 supplementation reduces muscle damage and provide a more rapid rate of recovery.
What these results mean to you…
These results are important to bodybuilders and other strength athletes for many reasons. Firstly, the results of this study clearly show that VP2 Whey Isolate accelerates the rate of recovery of muscle function and reduces markers of muscle damage after intense resistance training.
These results suggest that the frequent use of VP2 Whey Isolate in the days after training will promote better recovery. Therefore, aside from pre and post workout supplementation, one serving several times each day would also be beneficial.
Very few dietary supplements are shown in controlled research to accelerate muscle recovery after exercise. This research is very exciting because it demonstrates that supplementation with the correct nutritional material will speed recovery after exercise.
The findings with VP2 follow previously published work on Micronized Creatine and its ability to also speed the recovery process.
Alongside supplementation with VP2 Whey Isolate, I recommend Creatine Cycling with Micronized Creatine to ensure high muscle creatine concentrations which appear to reduce muscle damage and accelerate recovery during intense training.
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 22 September 2010
- Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2 June 2009