We examined if 8 weeks of whey protein (WP) supplementation improved body composition and performance measures in NCAA Division III female basketball players. Subjects were assigned to consume 24 g WP (n = 8; age, 20 ± 2 years; height, 170 ± 6 cm; weight, 66.0 ± 3.1 kg) or 24 g of maltodextrin (MD) (n = 6; age, 21 ± 3 years; height, 169 ± 6 cm; weight, 68.2 ± 7.6 kg) immediately prior to and following training (4 days/week anaerobic and resistance training) for 8 weeks. Prior to (T1) and 8 weeks following supplementation (T2), subjects underwent dual X-ray absorptiometry body composition assessment as well as performance tests. The WP group gained lean mass from T1 to T2 (+1.4 kg, p = 0.003) whereas the MD group trended to gain lean mass (+0.4 kg, p = 0.095). The WP group also lost fat mass from T1 to T2 (-1.0 kg, p = 0.003) whereas the MD group did not (-0.5 kg, p = 0.41). The WP group presented greater gains in 1-repetition maximum (1RM) bench press (+4.9 kg) compared with the MD group (+2.3 kg) (p < 0.05). Moreover, the WP group improved agility from T1 to T2 (p = 0.001) whereas the MD group did not (p = 0.38). Both groups equally increased leg press 1RM, vertical jump, and broad jump performances. This study demonstrates that 8 weeks of WP supplementation improves body composition and select performance variables in previously trained female athletes.
Keywords: athletes; athlètes; females; femmes; lean muscle mass; masse musculaire maigre; performance; protéines de petit-lait; whey protein.