It is very common for eccentric exercise to elicit muscle damage and soreness in the days following a high-intensity exercise session. The damaged skeletal muscle fibers that result from the exercise create a prolonged and complex interaction between protein synthesis and degradation1. Although protein turnover is elevated, the problem is that degradation usually exceeds synthesis which leads to protein breakdown, thus causing muscle degeneration and atrophy 2. The changes in muscle protein ultrastructure that occur from eccentric damage results in reductions in muscle strength, increased soreness and impaired muscle function3.

To enhance muscle recovery after damage, it is crucial to maximize protein synthesis and minimize protein breakdown. In fact, it is vital to enhance protein synthesis rates within muscle during recovery to maximize muscle regeneration and hypertrophy. Therefore, any strategies that enhance net muscle protein balance during recovery from muscle injury/damage are likely to enhance protein synthesis rates and the regenerative process.

Whey protein isolate supplementation has been demonstrated to increase muscle size and strength after resistance training4, with some of these improvements thought to come from enhanced recovery from exercise sessions. Whey isolate is more effective than other protein supplements at increasing blood amino acids and protein synthesis due to its amino acid profile and absorption kinetics5. Whey protein isolate has a high availability of amino acids, especially branched-chain amino acids, which is important for protein synthesis in the hours immediately following ingestion6.

VP2 Whey Isolate - Best Whey ProteinGiven the ambiguous data on protein supplementation and muscle recovery, scientists from Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia were interested in establishing whether a commercially available protein supplement can improve recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage6. They supplemented the diet of a group of participants with a hydrolyzed whey protein isolate for 14 days during recovery from an identical resistance training session as used previously to cause muscle damage7. They hypothesized that using hydrolyzed whey protein isolate would accelerate muscle strength recovery compared to an iso-energetic carbohydrate control after a single bout of eccentric exercise. The whey protein isolate used in this scientific study was VP2 Whey Isolate6.

The results demonstrate that isometric knee extension strength was significantly higher following whey protein isolate supplementation 3 and 7 days into recovery from eccentric-induced muscle damage compared to carbohydrate supplementation. Also, there were strong tendencies for higher isokinetic forces (extension and flexion) observed during the recovery period following whey protein supplementation. Lactate dehydrogenase (muscle damage marker) levels was lower in the whey protein supplemented group during recovery.

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The major finding of this study was that whey protein isolate supplementation elicited better maintenance of muscle strength in the days following eccentric contraction-induced muscle damage. The amino acid composition of whey proteins is very similar to that of skeletal muscle. Therefore, whey protein supplementation may provide the amino acids essential for optimal muscle remodeling6.

VP2 Whey Isolate is scientifically proven to build more lean muscle than other proteins. No other protein or supplement of any type has been shown in scientific studies to exert anywhere near the muscle building effects of VP2 Whey Isolate.

The most effective times to take VP2 Whey Isolate are 30 minutes before training and immediately after training. Two other important times to take VP2 Whey Isolate are immediately upon waking and approximately 20 minutes before bed.

References:

1. Sorichter S, Puschendorf B, Mair J. Skeletal muscle injury induced by eccentric muscle action: muscle proteins as markers of muscle fiber injury. Exerc Immunol Rev 1999;5:5-21.
2. Wolfe RR. Skeletal muscle protein metabolism and resistance exercise. J Nutr 2006;136:525S-8S.
3. Allen DG, Whitehead NP, Yeung EW. Mechanisms of stretch-induced muscle damage in normal and dystrophic muscle: role of ionic changes. J Physiol 2005;567:723-35.
4. Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Stathis CG, Carey MF, Hayes A. Effects of whey isolate, creatine, and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2007;39:298-307.
5. Mahe S, Roos N, Benamouzig R, et al. Gastrojejunal kinetics and the digestion of [15N]beta-lactoglobulin and casein in humans: the influence of the nature and quantity of the protein. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;63:546-52.
6. Cooke MB, Rybalka E, Stathis CG, Cribb PJ, Hayes A. Whey protein isolate attenuates strength decline after eccentrically-induced muscle damage in healthy individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2010;7:30.
7. Cooke MB, Rybalka E, Williams AD, Cribb PJ, Hayes A. Creatine supplementation enhances muscle force recovery after eccentrically-induced muscle damage in healthy individuals. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 2009;6:13.

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VP2 Whey Isolate Speeds Recovery of Strength after Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage

by Paul C. Henning, Ph.D. CSCS time to read: 4 min
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