Whey protein hydrolysate supplementation accelerates recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in females

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2018 Apr;43(4):324-330. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2017-0412. Epub 2017 Nov 6.


A number of different forms of protein and their analogues have been investigated for their efficacy in ameliorating exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and recovery. Preliminary data regarding whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) supplementation are promising. However, its efficacy beyond acute eccentric/resistance exercise bouts or longer term training programmes are limited and all investigations have been conducted in male or mixed-sex groups. This study sought to elucidate whether the benefits of WPH previously reported can be demonstrated in females following repeated-sprint exercise. Twenty physically active females were assigned to consume 2 doses of 70 mL WPH or isoenergetic carbohydrate (CHO) for 4 days post-EIMD. Measures of muscle soreness, limb girth, flexibility, muscle function, and creatine kinase were collected before, immediately after, and 24, 48, and 72 h postexercise. Time effects were observed for all variables (p < 0.05) except limb girth, which is indicative of EIMD. Flexibility improved beyond baseline measures following WPH by 72 h, but had failed to recover in the CHO group (p = 0.011). Reactive strength index was higher throughout recovery in the WPH group compared with CHO (p = 0.016). Reductions in creatine kinase were greater following WPH compared with CHO at 48 h post-EIMD (p = 0.031). The findings suggest that 4-day supplementation of WPH is beneficial for reducing symptoms of EIMD and improving recovery of muscle function in physically active females.

Keywords: creatine kinase; créatine kinase; flexibilité des ischiojambiers; hamstring flexibility; indice de force réactive; reactive strength index; repeated sprint; sprint répété.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / metabolism
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Double-Blind Method
  • England
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / pathology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Muscular Diseases / diet therapy*
  • Muscular Diseases / etiology
  • Muscular Diseases / metabolism
  • Muscular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Protein Hydrolysates / administration & dosage*
  • Protein Hydrolysates / adverse effects
  • Protein Hydrolysates / metabolism
  • Recovery of Function
  • Running
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Whey Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Whey Proteins / adverse effects
  • Whey Proteins / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Protein Hydrolysates
  • Whey Proteins