Effects of resistance exercise and fortified milk on skeletal muscle mass, muscle size, and functional performance in middle-aged and older men: an 18-mo randomized controlled trial

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2009 Dec;107(6):1864-73. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00392.2009. Epub 2009 Oct 22.


Limited data have suggested that the consumption of fluid milk after resistance training (RT) may promote skeletal muscle hypertrophy. The aim of this study was to assess whether a milk-based nutritional supplement could enhance the effects of RT on muscle mass, size, strength, and function in middle-aged and older men. This was an 18-mo factorial design (randomized control trial) in which 180 healthy men aged 50-79 yr were allocated to the following groups: 1) exercise + fortified milk, 2) exercise, 3) fortified milk, or 4) control. Exercise consisted of progressive RT with weight-bearing impact exercise. Men assigned to the fortified milk consumed 400 ml/day of low-fat milk, providing an additional 836 kJ, 1000 mg calcium, 800 IU vitamin D(3), and 13.2 g protein per day. Total body lean mass (LM) and fat mass (FM) (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), midfemur muscle cross-sectional area (CSA) (quantitative computed tomography), muscle strength, and physical function were assessed. After 18 mo, there was no significant exercise by fortified milk interaction for total body LM, muscle CSA, or any functional measure. However, main effect analyses revealed that exercise significantly improved muscle strength ( approximately 20-52%, P < 0.001), LM (0.6 kg, P < 0.05), FM (-1.1 kg, P < 0.001), muscle CSA (1.8%, P < 0.001), and gait speed (11%, P < 0.05) relative to no exercise. There were no effects of the fortified milk on muscle size, strength, or function. In conclusion, the daily consumption of low-fat fortified milk does not enhance the effects of RT on skeletal muscle size, strength, or function in healthy middle-aged and older men with adequate energy and nutrient intakes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / drug effects
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Calcium, Dietary / administration & dosage
  • Cattle
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Eating
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / anatomy & histology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Organ Size
  • Patient Compliance
  • Patient Selection
  • Resistance Training*


  • Calcium, Dietary
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Cholecalciferol