The influence of bovine colostrum supplementation on exercise performance in highly trained cyclists

Br J Sports Med. 2006 Sep;40(9):797-801. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2006.027946. Epub 2006 Jul 6.


Purpose: The aim of this experiment was to investigate the influence of low dose bovine colostrum supplementation on exercise performance in cyclists over a 10 week period that included 5 days of high intensity training (HIT).

Methods: Over 7 days of preliminary testing, 29 highly trained male road cyclists completed a VO(2max) test (in which their ventilatory threshold was estimated), a time to fatigue test at 110% of ventilatory threshold, and a 40 km time trial (TT40). Cyclists were then assigned to either a supplement (n = 14, 10 g/day bovine colostrum protein concentrate (CPC)) or a placebo group (n = 15, 10 g/day whey protein) and resumed their normal training. Following 5 weeks of supplementation, the cyclists returned to the laboratory to complete a second series of performance testing (week 7). They then underwent five consecutive days of HIT (week 8) followed by a further series of performance tests (week 9).

Results: The influence of bovine CPC on TT40 performance during normal training was unclear (week 7: 1+/-3.1%, week 9: 0.1+/-2.1%; mean+/-90% confidence limits). However, at the end of the HIT period, bovine CPC supplementation, compared to the placebo, elicited a 1.9+/-2.2% improvement from baseline in TT40 performance and a 2.3+/-6.0% increase in time trial intensity (% VO(2max)), and maintained TT40 heart rate (2.5+/-3.7%). In addition, bovine CPC supplementation prevented a decrease in ventilatory threshold following the HIT period (4.6+/-4.6%).

Conclusion: Low dose bovine CPC supplementation elicited improvements in TT40 performance during an HIT period and maintained ventilatory threshold following five consecutive days of HIT.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Cattle
  • Colostrum*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Physical Endurance / physiology