Effect of whey protein hydrolysate on performance and recovery of top-class orienteering runners

Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2015 Apr;25(2):97-109. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2014-0083. Epub 2014 Jul 14.


This trial aimed to examine the effect of whey protein hydrolysate intake before and after exercise sessions on endurance performance and recovery in elite orienteers during a training camp. Eighteen elite orienteers participated in a randomized controlled intervention trial during a 1-week training camp (13 exercise sessions). Half of the runners (PRO-CHO) ingested a protein drink before (0.3 g kg(-1)) and a protein-carbohydrate drink after (0.3 g protein kg(-1) and 1 g carbohydrate kg(-1)) each exercise session. The others ingested energy and time-matched carbohydrate drinks (CHO). A 4-km run-test with 20 control points was performed before and on the last day of the intervention. Blood and saliva were obtained in the mornings, before and after run-tests, and after the last training session. During the intervention, questionnaires were fulfilled regarding psychological sense of performance capacity and motivation. PRO-CHO and not CHO improved performance in the 4-km run-test (interaction p < .05). An increase in serum creatine kinase was observed during the week, which was greater in CHO than PRO-CHO (interaction p < .01). Lactate dehydrogenase (p < .001) and cortisol (p = .057) increased during the week, but the change did not differ between groups. Reduction in sense of performance capacity during the intervention was greater in CHO (p < .05) than PRO-CHO. In conclusion, ingestion of whey protein hydrolysate before and after each exercise session improves performance and reduces markers of muscle damage during a strenuous 1-week training camp. The results indicate that protein supplementation in conjunction with each exercise session facilitates the recovery from strenuous training in elite orienteers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance* / psychology
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Creatine Kinase / blood
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / pharmacology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Exercise
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase / blood
  • Male
  • Motivation
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Protein Hydrolysates / pharmacology*
  • Running / physiology*
  • Sports Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Whey / chemistry*
  • Whey Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Protein Hydrolysates
  • Whey Proteins
  • L-Lactate Dehydrogenase
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Hydrocortisone