Colostrum Bovinum is the first milk secreted from the mammary glands of mammals after parturition. In calves, it is the only way to provide immunoglobulins, which are responsible for the proper maturation of the immune system. The benefits of calf colostrum have contributed to the investigation of the effects of colostrum in humans. Although the health properties of colostrum are not fully understood, its supplementation in athletes has been particularly interesting for over 20 years. The presence of growth factors, immunoglobulins, cytokines, lactoferrin and hormones suggests that colostrum may improve the functioning of the digestive, immune and neuroendocrine systems, and exercise performance. The administering of colostrum seems to be most effective during periods of high intensity training, probably due to its high concentration of IGF-I, the ability to increase muscle buffering capacity or its high SIgA concentration. Due to the lack of adjustment of specific doses and the period of colostrum supplementation, it is necessary to conduct further studies on the impact of colostrum supply on exercise performance. The aim of this review article is to analyze the available experimental studies and reviews on the use of colostrum in sport and to draw attention to the possibility of using colostrum to improve the health of athletes and the results they can achieve in their chosen sports.
Keywords: bovine colostrum; exercise performance; immunology; supplementation.