Effects of Insect Protein Supplementation during Resistance Training on Changes in Muscle Mass and Strength in Young Men

Nutrients. 2018 Mar 10;10(3):335. doi: 10.3390/nu10030335.


During prolonged resistance training, protein supplementation is known to promote morphological changes; however, no previous training studies have tested the effect of insect protein isolate in a human trial. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential effect of insect protein as a dietary supplement to increase muscle hypertrophy and strength gains during prolonged resistance training in young men. Eighteen healthy young men performed resistance training four day/week for eight weeks. Subjects were block randomized into two groups consuming either an insect protein isolate or isocaloric carbohydrate supplementation within 1 h after training and pre-sleep on training days. Strength and body composition were measured before and after intervention to detect adaptions to the resistance training. Three-day weighed dietary records were completed before and during intervention. Fat- and bone- free mass (FBFM) improved significantly in both groups (Mean (95% confidence interval (CI))), control group (Con): (2.5 kg (1.5, 3.5) p < 0.01), protein group (Pro): (2.7 kg (1.6, 3.8) p < 0.01) from pre- to post-. Leg and bench press one repetition maximum (1 RM) improved by Con: (42.0 kg (32.0, 52.0) p < 0.01) and (13.8 kg (10.3, 17.2) p < 0.01), Pro: (36.6 kg (27.3, 45.8) p < 0.01) and (8.1 kg (4.5, 11.8) p < 0.01), respectively. No significant differences in body composition and muscle strength improvements were found between groups. In young healthy men, insect protein supplementation did not improve adaptations to eight weeks of resistance training in comparison to carbohydrate supplementation. A high habitual protein intake in both Con and Pro may partly explain our observation of no superior effect of insect protein supplementation.

Keywords: buffalo larvae; hypertrophy; insect; nutrition; resistance training.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Denmark
  • Diet, High-Protein
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / therapeutic use
  • Dietary Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Insect Proteins / therapeutic use*
  • Larva / chemistry
  • Male
  • Muscle Development*
  • Muscle Strength Dynamometer
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Resistance Training*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Sports Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Tenebrio / chemistry
  • Young Adult


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Insect Proteins