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Fast milk proteins better than slow for muscle fatigue, find French researchers

By Shane Starling+

Last updated on 17-Sep-2014 at 17:17 GMT2014-09-17T17:17:59Z

“Our results suggest that the effects of protein supplementation depend on the protein composition.
“Our results suggest that the effects of protein supplementation depend on the protein composition."

Quickly digestible milk proteins are better for reducing post-training muscle fatigue than casein and placebo, according to French researchers.

They split 68 physically active men into three groups (casein (slow digestible); soluble milk protein (SMP, fast) and placebo) and found the casein and SMP groups scored better than placebo in battling muscle fatigue.

But SMPs were the most effective when it came to endurance and recovery from intense resistance exercise.

The research, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition concluded that, “the present experiment demonstrated that protein supplementation may enhance possible adaptations induced by resistance training.”

“Our results suggest that the effects of protein supplementation depend on the protein composition. More specifically, it appears that soluble milk protein is particularly efficient to improve resistance to fatigue. Therefore, supplementation with soluble milk protein may be recommended in combination with resistance training.”

However maximal muscle power, strength and thickness of muscles were not statistically different between the groups.


The groups were tested over 10 weeks of “lower-body resistance training” and advised to take 30 g of placebo or protein twice per day or three times on training days. Quadricep tests were performed at the beginning of the experiment, at four weeks and then at the 10-week conclusion.

Tests included muscle endurance (maximum number of repetitions during leg extensions using 70% of the individual maximal load), fatigue (decrease in muscle power after the endurance test), strength, power and muscle thickness.

The Dijon-based researchers, in conjunction with the dairy group, Lactalis, found muscle fatigue was significantly lower in the SMP group than the casein and placebo groups at the  four and 10 week measurement intervals.

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 

2014, 11:36 doi:10.1186/1550-2783-11-36

‘Effects of soluble milk protein or casein supplementation on muscle fatigue following resistance training program: a randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled study’

Authors: Babault N, Deley G, Le Ruyet P, Morgan F, Allaert FA

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