Effect of Whey Protein in Conjunction With a Caloric-Restricted Diet and Resistance Training

J Strength Cond Res. 2017 May;31(5):1353-1361. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001196.


Dudgeon, WD, Kelley, EP, and Scheett, TP. Effect of whey protein in conjunction with a caloric-restricted diet and resistance training. J Strength Cond Res 31(5): 1353-1361, 2017-Caloric-restricted weight loss, especially rapid weight loss, results from a decrease in both lean and fat mass (FM). The goal for many is to lose FM while retaining lean body mass (LBM) and muscular performance thus many turn to supplements. Sixteen resistance-trained men (24 ± 1.6 years of age) completed a 4 d·wk body building style split resistance training program for 8 weeks in conjunction with a pre-exercise, periexercise, and postexercise ingestion of whey protein (WHEY) nutritional supplement or carbohydrate (CON)-based nutritional supplement. There were no differences in body mass change between the WHEY and CON groups although both groups lost body mass (p ≤ 0.05); however, WHEY group maintained LBM whereas the CON group lost (p ≤ 0.05), and the WHEY group lost FM (p > 0.05) and the CON group did not, although the change in FM between groups was not different. Both the WHEY and CON (p ≤ 0.05) groups significantly increased lower-body strength. The WHEY group increased upper-body strength (p ≤ 0.05), whereas the CON did not change. Both groups (p ≤ 0.05) increased lower-body repetitions to fatigue with the increase greater in the CON group (p ≤ 0.05). The CON group also increased upper-body repetitions (p ≤ 0.05) whereas WHEY did not. WHEY group lost body mass, composed of FM, whereas CON also experienced a loss in body mass, but this loss was due to decrease in LBM. Neither group experienced a loss in muscle performance, with the WHEY group tending to show improvement in strength and CON group in endurance. These data indicate WHEY supplementation compared with carbohydrate supplementation, during a caloric-restricted "cut" diet can assist in maintaining LBM while allowing for the loss of FM.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition / physiology
  • Diet / methods*
  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Energy Intake
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Whey Proteins / administration & dosage*


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Whey Proteins