The Effect of Resistance Training and Different Sources of Postexercise Protein Supplementation on Muscle Mass and Physical Capacity in Sarcopenic Elderly Men

J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Jun;30(6):1680-7. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001255.


The loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia) with aging is related to a progressive loss of muscle strength and physical capacity. Resistance exercise and milk-based protein supplementation have been demonstrated as significant countermeasures for sarcopenia and the loss of muscle strength. However, using high doses of proteins can act as a meal replacement in the elderly. Therefore, we sought to determine whether a standard supplementation (12 g per serving) of protein and resistance training could be an efficient strategy to promote muscle strength and physical capacity in sarcopenic men. Twenty-six participants were randomized in 3 groups in a double-blind control study. All the groups performed exercise and consumed a protein-rich supplement 12 g of protein, 7 g of essential amino acids from milk (n = 8), soy (n = 8), or rice milk (nonprotein control, n = 10). Body composition was measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Strength was measured by 1 repetition maximum with different exercises. Different physical capacity measurements were assessed (timed up and go test, chair stand, and walking speed). The results indicated a significant increase in fat-free mass in all groups and changes in muscle strength, with no differences between groups. This study indicates that resistance training is an effective way to increase muscle mass and strength, regardless of protein supplementation. Higher doses of protein-rich foods may have to be recommended to promote muscle mass gains when executing resistance exercise in elderly sarcopenic individuals.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Milk*
  • Muscle Strength / drug effects
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Sarcopenia / physiopathology
  • Sarcopenia / therapy*


  • Milk Proteins