Background: Seventy-three healthy, male subjects randomly divided into 3 groups participated in a study to determine the effects of 2 high-calorie nutritional supplements on body composition, body segment circumferences, and muscular strength following a resistance-training (RT) program.
Methods: In addition to their normal diets group 1 (CHO/PRO; n=26) consumed a 8.4 Mj x day(-1) (2010 kcal) high calorie, high protein supplement containing 356 g carbohydrate and 106 g protein. Group 2 (CHO; n=25) consumed a carbohydrate supplement that was isocaloric with CHO/PRO. Group 3 (CTRL; n=22) received no supplement and served as a control. All subjects were placed on a 4-day x week(-1) RT program for 8 weeks.
Results: Dietary analysis revealed no significant differences in total energy consumption or nutrients at any time in the non-supplemented diets of the 3 groups. Significant (p= or <0.05) increases in body mass (BM) and fat-free mass (FFM) were observed in CHO/PRO and CHO compared to CTRL. Mean (+/- SD) increases in BM were 3.1+/-3.1 kg and 3.1+/-2.2 kg, respectively. Fat-free mass significantly (p= or <0.05) increased 2.9+/-3.4 kg in CHO/PRO and 3.4+/-2.5 kg in CHO. Muscular strength, as measured by a one-repetition maximum in the bench press, leg press, and lat-pull down increased significantly (p= or <0.05) in all groups. No significant differences in strength measures were observed among groups following training.
Conclusions: Results indicate that high-calorie supplements are effective in increasing BM and FFM when combined with RT. However, once individual protein requirements are met, energy content of the diet has the largest effect on body composition.