Purpose: The objective of this study is to verify the beneficial effects of whey protein (WP) supplementation on health promotion and enhance exercise performance in an aerobic-exercise training protocol.
Methods: In total, 40 male Institute of Cancer Research mice (4 wk old) were divided into four groups (n = 10 per group): sedentary control with vehicle (SC) or WP supplementation (4.1 g·kg, SC + WP), and exercise training with vehicle (ET) or WP supplementation (4.1 g·kg, ET + WP). Animals in the ET and ET + WP groups underwent swimming endurance training for 6 wk, 5 d·wk. Exercise performance was evaluated by forelimb grip strength and exhaustive swimming time as well as by changes in body composition and biochemical parameters at the end of the experiment.
Results: ET significantly decreased final body and muscle weight and levels of albumin, total protein, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, total cholesterol, and triacylglycerol. ET significantly increased grip strength; relative weight (%) of liver, heart, and brown adipose tissue (BAT); and levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, and total bilirubin. WP supplementation significantly decreased final body, muscle, liver, BAT, and kidney weight and relative weight (%) of muscle, liver, and BAT as well as levels of aspartate aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, creatine kinase, and uric acid. In addition, WP supplementation slightly increased endurance time and significantly increased grip strength and levels of albumin and total protein.
Conclusion: WP supplementation improved exercise performance, body composition, and biochemical assessments in mice and may be an effective ergogenic aid in aerobic exercise training.