Whey protein and high-volume resistance training in postmenopausal women

J Nutr Health Aging. 2015 May;19(5):511-7. doi: 10.1007/s12603-015-0454-7.


Objectives: To examine the combined effects of whey protein supplementation and low intensity, high-volume resistance training in healthy postmenopausal women.

Design, setting and subjects: Postmenopausal women (n=12; age: 57 ± 4.7 years, weight: 75 ± 17.4 kg, height: 163 ± 5.5 cm, body mass index: 28.3 ± 7.0) consumed whey protein (4 x 10 gram aliquots) or placebo (maltodextrin) during unilateral resistance training sessions 2 days per week (Monday, Thursday) and consumed the opposite beverage during training the other side of the body on alternating days (Tuesday, Friday) for 10 weeks. Participants performed 3 sets at 30% baseline 1-repetition maximum (1RM) to volitional muscle fatigue for 4 exercises (leg curl, biceps curl, leg extension, triceps extension). Prior to and following training, assessments were made for upper and lower limb lean tissue mass (dual energy x-ray absorptiometry), muscle thickness of the elbow and knee flexors and extensors (ultrasound) and muscle strength (1RM leg curl, biceps curl, leg extension, triceps extension).

Results: There was a significant increase over time for muscle strength (biceps curl, leg extension, triceps extension; P = 0.006) and muscle thickness (elbow flexors and extensors; P = 0.022) with no differences between whey protein and placebo.

Conclusions: High volume resistance training is effective for improving some indices of muscle mass and strength in postmenopausal women, but the strategic ingestion of whey protein during training sessions does not augment this response.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Arm / anatomy & histology
  • Arm / physiology
  • Body Mass Index
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg / anatomy & histology
  • Leg / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Polysaccharides
  • Postmenopause / physiology*
  • Resistance Training*
  • Whey Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Whey Proteins / pharmacology


  • Polysaccharides
  • Whey Proteins
  • maltodextrin