Protein-containing nutrient supplementation following strength training enhances the effect on muscle mass, strength, and bone formation in postmenopausal women

Lars Holm, Jens L Olesen, Keitaro Matsumoto, Tatsuya Doi, Masao Mizuno, Thomas J Alsted, Abigail Louise Mackey, Peter Schwarz, Michael Kjaer

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89 Citations (Scopus)


We evaluated the response of various muscle and bone adaptation parameters with 24 wk of strength training in healthy, early postmenopausal women when a nutrient supplement (protein, carbohydrate, calcium, and vitamin D) or a placebo supplement (a minimum of energy) was ingested immediately following each training session. At inclusion, each woman was randomly and double-blindedly assigned to a nutrient group or a placebo (control) group. Muscle hypertrophy was evaluated from biopsies, MRI, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans, and muscle strength was determined in a dynamometer. Bone mineral density (BMD) was measured using DEXA scans, and bone turnover was determined from serum osteocalcin and collagen type I cross-linked carboxyl terminal peptide. The nutrient group improved concentric and isokinetic (60 degrees /s) muscle strength from 6 to 24 wk by 9 +/- 3% (P <0.01), whereas controls showed no change (1 +/- 2%, P > 0.05). Only the nutrient group improved lean body mass (P <0.05) over the 24 wk. BMD responded similarly at the lumbar spine but changed differently in the two groups at the femoral neck (P <0.05) [control: 0.943 +/- 0.028 to 0.930 +/- 0.024 g/mm(3) (-1.0 +/- 1.4%); nutrient group: 0.953 +/- 0.051 to 0.978 +/- 0.043 g/mm(3) (3.8 +/- 3.4%)] when adjusted for age, body mass index, and BMD at inclusion. Bone formation displayed an interaction (P <0.05), mainly caused by increased osteocalcin at 24 wk in the nutrient group. In conclusion, we report that nutrient supplementation results in superior improvements in muscle mass, muscle strength, femoral neck BMD, and bone formation during 24 wk of strength training. The observed differences following such a short intervention emphasize the significance of postexercise nutrient supply on musculoskeletal maintenance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-281
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2008

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Absorptiometry, Photon; Aged; Bicycling; Body Weight; Bone Density; Bone Development; Collagen Type I; Cross-Over Studies; Dietary Proteins; Dietary Supplements; Double-Blind Method; Eating; Female; Humans; Middle Aged; Muscle Fibers, Skeletal; Muscle Strength; Muscle, Skeletal; Osteocalcin; Parathyroid Hormone; Physical Fitness; Postmenopause; Running; Vitamin D; Weight Lifting


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