Eat protein after exercise7th December 2010
Dutch researchers recommend eating protein after exercise, in order to warm up the body's muscles, rather than just before a workout, or after a rest.
The researchers made a study of about 48 men, half of whom were over age 70, and found that all of them benefitted from eating protein after exercising.
For the study, the researchers randomly assigned each man to one of two groups.
The first group rested for 90 minutes, exercised for half an hour, and then drank the protein drink, which contained 20 grams of protein.
The second group was only asked to stay stationary for two hours, then drink the protein.
The researchers measured the subjects' protein uptake by monitoring amino acid blood levels and extracting small muscle tissue samples.
Some older people fear they may lose the ability to digest protein as they age.
But the young subjects in the recent study did not seem to have any advantage over their elderly counterparts, with regard to the assimilation of protein and the production of amino acids.
Instead, muscle protein in the two groups of study subjects tended to increase by roughly the same rate when both groups consumed protein after exercising.
None of the study subjects exercised regularly at the time the study began.
The researchers said that people needed to eat well in order to maintain muscle mass in old age, and that getting protein after exercise was the best way to avoid losing muscle.
Since the recent study only focused on the way people's muscle mass changed over a short-term period, further studies will need to focus more on the way people's muscle mass changes in the longer term.
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