The effects of increased dietary protein on resistance training (RT)-induced changes in body composition and skeletal muscle fiber size are uncertain in older people.
Objectives: We hypothesized that the ingestion of more animal-based foods, especially eggs, to achieve a higher protein intake would enhance RT-induced changes in body composition.
Setting: West Lafayette, IN.
Participants: 36 older people (age 61 +/- 1 y; mean +/- SEM).
Intervention: Subjects completed RT three d/wk for 12 weeks, and consumed omnivorous diets that contained either 0.9 +/- 0.1 (lower protein) or 1.2 +/- 0.0 (higher protein) g protein x kg(-1) x d(-1) (12 +/- 3 and 17 +/- 5% of energy intakes, respectively), with the higher protein intake achieved by consuming more eggs, meats, and dairy foods. The lower and higher protein diets contained 213 +/- 21 and 610 +/- 105 mg cholesterol/d, respectively.
Measurements: Strength, body composition, serum lipid-lipoprotein profile, urinary creatinine, skeletal muscle fiber type and size.
Results: Among all subjects, over time (i.e. with RT) body weight was unchanged, lean mass (1.1 +/- 0.2 kg) increased, and fat mass (-1.4 +/- 0.2 kg) decreased (all changes P < 0.05). Regional (i.e. trunk, legs, arms) lean mass increased and fat mass decreased. Whole body muscle mass (24-h urinary creatinine excretion) increased, but skeletal muscle (vastus lateralis) type 1, type 2a, and type 2x fiber cross-sectional areas did not change from baseline. Serum total and LDL cholesterol decreased (P < 0.05) and HDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol were unchanged. Dietary protein and cholesterol intakes did not influence these responses to RT.
Conclusion: Consumption of diets that contained moderately higher protein and variable amounts of cholesterol did not differentially affect body composition, skeletal muscle fiber size, or serum lipid-lipoprotein profile responses to resistance training in older people.