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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Effect of protein/essential amino acids and resistance training on skeletal muscle hypertrophy: A case for whey protein

Juha J Hulmi1*, Christopher M Lockwood2 and Jeffrey R Stout2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35, 40014 Jyväskylä, Finland

2 Department of Health & Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA

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Nutrition & Metabolism 2010, 7:51  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-7-51

Published: 17 June 2010

Abstract

Regardless of age or gender, resistance training or provision of adequate amounts of dietary protein (PRO) or essential amino acids (EAA) can increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in healthy adults. Combined PRO or EAA ingestion proximal to resistance training, however, can augment the post-exercise MPS response and has been shown to elicit a greater anabolic effect than exercise plus carbohydrate. Unfortunately, chronic/adaptive response data comparing the effects of different protein sources is limited. A growing body of evidence does, however, suggest that dairy PRO, and whey in particular may: 1) stimulate the greatest rise in MPS, 2) result in greater muscle cross-sectional area when combined with chronic resistance training, and 3) at least in younger individuals, enhance exercise recovery. Therefore, this review will focus on whey protein supplementation and its effects on skeletal muscle mass when combined with heavy resistance training.