Protein supplements are frequently consumed by athletes and recreationally active adults to achieve greater gains in muscle mass and strength and improve physical performance.
This review provides a systematic and comprehensive analysis of the literature that tested the hypothesis that protein supplements accelerate gains in muscle mass and strength resulting in improvements in aerobic and anaerobic power. Evidence statements were created based on an accepted strength of recommendation taxonomy.
English language articles were searched through PubMed and Google Scholar using protein and supplements together with performance, exercise, strength, and muscle, alone or in combination as keywords. Additional articles were retrieved from reference lists found in these papers.
Studies recruiting healthy adults between 18 and 50 years of age that evaluated the effects of protein supplements alone or in combination with carbohydrate on a performance metric (e.g., one repetition maximum or isometric or isokinetic muscle strength), metrics of body composition, or measures of aerobic or anaerobic power were included in this review. The literature search identified 32 articles which incorporated test metrics that dealt exclusively with changes in muscle mass and strength, 5 articles that implemented combined resistance and aerobic training or followed participants during their normal sport training programs, and 1 article that evaluated changes in muscle oxidative enzymes and maximal aerobic power.
Study Appraisal and Synthesis Methods
All papers were read in detail, and examined for experimental design confounders such as dietary monitoring, history of physical training (i.e., trained and untrained), and the number of participants studied. Studies were also evaluated based on the intensity, frequency, and duration of training, the type and timing of protein supplementation, and the sensitivity of the test metrics.
For untrained individuals, consuming supplemental protein likely has no impact on lean mass and muscle strength during the initial weeks of resistance training. However, as the duration, frequency, and volume of resistance training increase, protein supplementation may promote muscle hypertrophy and enhance gains in muscle strength in both untrained and trained individuals. Evidence also suggests that protein supplementation may accelerate gains in both aerobic and anaerobic power.
To demonstrate measureable gains in strength and performance with exercise training and protein supplementation, many of the studies reviewed recruited untrained participants. Since skeletal muscle responses to exercise and protein supplementation differ between trained and untrained individuals, findings are not easily generalized for all consumers who may be considering the use of protein supplements.
This review suggests that protein supplementation may enhance muscle mass and performance when the training stimulus is adequate (e.g., frequency, volume, duration), and dietary intake is consistent with recommendations for physically active individuals.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Erdman KA, Fung TS, Reimer RA. Influence of performance level on dietary supplementation in elite Canadian athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006;38:349–56.
Lieberman HR, Stavinoha TB, Mcgraw SM, et al. Use of dietary supplements among active-duty U.S. Army soldiers. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;92:985–95.
Petroczi A, Naughton CP. The age-gender-status profile of high performing athletes in the UK taking nutritional supplements: Lessons for the future. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008;5:2.
Pasiakos SM, Montain SJ, Young AJ. Protein supplementation in U.S. Military personnel. J Nutr. 2013;143:1815S–9S.
Erdman KA, Fung TS, Doyle-Baker PK, et al. Dietary supplementation of high-performance Canadian athletes by age and gender. Clin J Sport Med. 2007;17:458–64.
Campbell B, Kreider RB, Ziegenfuss T, et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2007;4:8.
Rodriguez NR, DiMarco NM, Langley S. Nutrition and athletic performance. Joint position statement for the American Dietetic Association, Dietiticians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41:709–31.
Drummond MJ, Dreyer HC, Fry CS, et al. Nutritional and contractile regulation of human skeletal muscle protein synthesis and mTORC1 signaling. J Appl Physiol. 2009;106:1374–84.
Koopman R. Role of amino acids and peptides in the molecular signaling in skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007;17:S47–57.
Koopman R, Saris WHM, Wagenmakers AJM, et al. Nutritional interventions to promote post-exercise muscle protein synthesis. Sports Med. 2007;37:895–906.
Rasmussen BB, Phillips SM. Contractile and nutritional regulation of human muscle growth. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2003;31:127–31.
Tipton KD, Ferrando AA. Improving muscle mass: response of muscle metabolism to exercise, nutrition and anabolic agents. Essays Biochem. 2008;44:85–98.
Tipton KD, Wolfe RR. Protein and amino acids for athletes. J Sports Sci. 2004;22:65–79.
Ivy JI. Dietary strategies to promote glycogen synthesis after exercise. Can J Appl Physiol. 2001;26(Suppl.):S236–45.
Gibala MJ. Protein metabolism and endurance exercise. Sports Med. 2007;37:337–40.
Pasiakos SM. Exercise and amino acid anabolic cell signalling and the regulation of skeletal muscle mass. Nutrients. 2012;4:740–58.
Carbone JW, McClung JP, Pasiakos SM. Skeletal muscle responses to negative energy balance: effects of dietary protein. Adv Nutr. 2012;3:119–26.
Saunders MJ. Coingestion of carbohydrate-protein during endurance exercise: influence on performance and recovery. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007;17:S87–103.
Betts JA, Williams C. Short-term recovery from prolonged exercise. Exploring the potential for protein ingestion to accentuate the benefits of carbohydrate supplements. Sports Med. 2010;40:941–59.
Vandenogaerde TJ, Hopkins WG. Effects of acute carbohydrate supplementation on endurance performance. A meta-analysis. Sports Med. 2011;41:773–92.
Betts JA, Stevenson E. Should protein be included in CHO-based sports supplements? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2011;43:1244–50.
Hawley JA, Gibala MJ, Bermon S. Innovations in athletic preparation: role of substrate availability to modify training adaptation and performance. J Sports Sci. 2007;25(S1):S115–24.
Stearns RL, Emmanuel H, Volek JS, et al. Effects of ingesting protein in combination with carbohydrate during exercise on endurance performance: a systematic review with meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24:2192–202.
Cermak NM, Res PT, deGroot LCPGM, et al. Protein supplementation augments the adaptive response of skeletal muscle to resistance-type exercise training: a meta-analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;96:1454–64.
Schoenfeld BJ, Aragon AA, Krieger JW. The effect of protein timing on muscle strength and hypertrophy: a meta-analysis. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2013;10:53.
McLellan TM, Pasiakos SM, Lieberman HR. Effects of protein in combination with carbohydrate supplements on acute or repeat endurance exercise performance: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2014;44:535–50.
Pasiakos SM, Lieberman HR, McLellan TM. Effects of protein supplements on muscle damage, soreness and recovery of muscle function and physical performance: a systematic review. Sports Med. 2014;44:655–70.
Institute of Medicine. Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. Washington DC: The National Academies Press; 2005.
Mourier A, Bigard AX, deKerviler E, et al. Combined effects of caloric restriction and branched-chain amino acid supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in elite wrestlers. Int J Sports Med. 1997;18:47–55.
Kraemer WJ, Hatfield DL, Spiering BA, et al. Effects of a multi-nutrient supplement on exercise performance and hormonal responses to resistance exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2007;101:637–46.
Shelmadine B, Cooke M, Buford T, et al. Effects of 28 days of resistance exercise and consuming a commercially available pre-workout supplement, NO-Shotgun®, on body composition, muscle strength and mass, markers of satellite cell activation, and clinical safety markers in males. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009;6:16.
Spillane M, Schwarz N, Leddy S, et al. Effects of 28 days of resistance exercise while consuming commercially available pre- and post-workout supplements, NO-Shotgun® and NO-Synthesize® on body composition, muscle strength and mass, markers of protein synthesis, and clinical safety markers in males. Nutr Metab. 2011;8:78.
Beck TW, Housh TJ, Johnson GO, et al. Effects of a drink containing creatine, amino acids, and protein combined with ten weeks of resistance training on body composition, strength, and anaerobic performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2007;21:100–4.
Chromiak JA, Smedley B, carpenter W, et al. Effect of a 10-week strength training program and recovery drink on body composition, muscular strength and endurance, and anaerobic power and capacity. Nutrition. 2004;20:420–7.
Cribb PJ, Hayes A. Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2006;38:1918–25.
Hoffman J, Ratamess N, Kang J, et al. Effect of creatine and β-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006;16:430–46.
Schmitz SS, Hofheins JE, Lemieux R. Nine weeks of supplementation with a multi-nutrient product augments gains in lean mass, strength, and muscular performance in resistance trained men. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010;7:40.
Tarnopolsky MA, Parise G, Yardley MJ, et al. Creatine-dextrose and protein-dextrose induce similar strength gains during training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001;33:2044–52.
Kerksick CM, Rasmussen C, Lancaster S, et al. Impact of differing protein sources and a creatine containing nutritional formula after 12 weeks of resistance training. Nutrition. 2007;23:647–56.
Antonio J, Saunders MS, vanGammeren D. The effects of bovine colostrum supplementation on body composition and exercise performance in active men and women. Nutrition. 2001;17:243–7.
Brinkworth GD, Buckley JD, Bourdon PC, et al. Oral bovine colostrum supplementation enhances buffer capacity but not rowing performance in elite female rowers. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2002;12:349–63.
Buckley JD, Abbott MJ, Brinkworth GD, et al. Bovine colostrum supplementation during endurance running training improves recovery, but not performance. J Sci Med Sport. 2002;5:65–79.
Buckley JD, Brinkworth GD, Abbott MJ. Effect of bovine colostrum on anaerobic exercise performance and plasma insulin-like growth factor I. J Sports Sci. 2003;21:577–88.
Coombes JS, Conacher M, Austen SK, et al. Dose effects of oral bovine colostrum on physical work capacity in cyclists. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002;34:1184–8.
Hofman Z, Smeets R, Verlaan G, et al. The effect of bovine colostrum supplementation on exercise performance in elite field hockey players. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2002;12:461–9.
Mero A, Nykänen T, Keinänen O, et al. Protein metabolism and strength performance after bovine colostrum supplementation. Amino Acids. 2005;28:327–35.
Shing CM, Jenkins DG, Stevenson L, et al. The influence of bovine colostrum supplementation on exercise performance in highly trained cyclists. Br J Sports Med. 2006;40:797–801.
Nissen S, Sharp R, Ray M, et al. Effect of leucine metabolite β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate on muscle metabolism during resistance-exercise training. J Appl Physiol. 1996;81:2095–104.
Zajac A, Poprzecki S, Zebrowska A, et al. Arginine and ornithine supplementation increases growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 serum levels after heavy-resistance exercise in strength-trained athletes. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24:1082–90.
Hambre D, Vergara M, Lood Y, et al. A randomized trial of protein supplementation compared with extra fast food on the effects of resistance training to increase metabolism. Scan J Clin Lab Invest. 2012;72:471–8.
Ebell MH, Siwek J, Weiss BD, et al. Strength of recommendation taxonomy (SORT): a patient-centered approach to grading evidence in the medical literature. Am Fam Phys. 2004;69(3):548–56.
Phillips SM. Protein requirements and supplementation in strength sports. Nutrition. 2004;20:689–95.
Tipton KD, Wolfe RR. Exercise, protein metabolism and muscle growth. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011;11:109–32.
Phillips SM, Moore DR, Tang JE. A critical examination of dietary protein requirements, benefits, and excesses in athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007;17:S58–76.
Phillips SM, Tang JE, Moore DR. The role of milk- and soy-based protein in support of muscle protein synthesis and muscle protein accretion in young and elderly persons. J Am Coll Nutr. 2009;28:343–54.
Pasiakos SM, McClung JP. Supplemental dietary leucine and the skeletal muscle anabolic response to essential amino acids. Nutr Rev. 2011;69:550–7.
Tipton KD, Rasmussen BB, Miller SL, et al. Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise. Am J Physiol. 2001;281:E197–206.
Witard OC, Tieland M, Beelen M, et al. Resistance exercise increases postprandial muscle protein synthesis in humans. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41:144–54.
Beelen M, Koopman R, Gijsen AP, et al. Protein coingestion stimulates protein synthesis during resistance-type exercise. Am J Physiol. 2008;295:E70–7.
Levenhagen DK, Gresham JD, Carlson MG, et al. Postexercise nutrient intake timing in humans is critical to recovery of leg glucose and protein homeostasis. Am J Physiol. 2001;280:E982–93.
Miller SL, Chinkes KDTDL, Wolf SE, et al. Independent and combined effects of amino acids and glucose after resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003;35:449–55.
Børsheim E, Tipton KD, Wolf SE, et al. Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance exercise. Am J Physiol. 2002;283:E648–57.
Tipton KD, Ferrando AA, Phillips SM, et al. Postexercise net protein synthesis in human muscle from orally administered amino acids. Am J Physiol. 1999;276:E628–34.
Rasmussen BB, Tipton KD, Miller SL, et al. An oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement enhances muscle protein anabolism after resistance exercise. J Appl Physiol. 2000;88:386–92.
Moore DR, Robinson MJ, Fry JL, et al. Ingested protein dose response of muscle and albumin protein synthesis after resistance exercise in young men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:161–8.
Glynn EL, Fry CS, Drummond MJ, et al. Muscle protein breakdown has a minor role in the protein anabolic response to essential amino acid and carbohydrate intake following resistance exercise. Am J Physiol. 2010;299:R533–40.
Koopman R, Beelen M, Stellingwerff T, et al. Coingestion of carbohydrate with protein does not further augment postexercise muscle protein synthesis. Am J Physiol. 2007;293:E833–42.
Biolo G, Tipton KD, Klein S, et al. An abundant supply of amino acids enhances the metabolic effect of exercise on muscle protein. Am J Physiol. 1997;273:E122–9.
Mitchell CJ, Churchward-Venne TA, Parise G, et al. Acute post-exercise myofibrillar protein synthesis is not correlated with resistance training-induced muscle hypertrophy in men. PLoS One. 2014;9:e89431.
Antonio J, Sanders MS, Ehler LA, et al. Effects of exercise training and amino-acid supplementation on body composition and physical performance in untrained women. Nutrition. 2000;16:1043–6.
Erskine RM, Fletcher G, Hanson B, et al. Whey protein does not enhance the adaptations to elbow flexor resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44:1791–800.
Fern EB, Bielinski RN, Schutz Y. Effects of exaggerated amino acid supply in man. Experientia. 1991;47:168–72.
Hulmi JJ, Kovanen V, Selänne H, et al. Acute and long-term effects of resistance exercise with or without protein ingestion on muscle hypertrophy and gene expression. Amino Acids. 2009;37:297–308.
Andersen LL, Tufekovic G, Zebis MK, et al. The effect of resistance training combined with timed ingestion of protein on muscle fiber size and muscle strength. Metab Clin Exp. 2005;54:151–6.
Coburn JW, Housh DJ, Housh TJ, et al. Effects of leucine and whey protein supplementation during 8 weeks of unilateral resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2006;20:284–91.
Willoughby DS, Stout JR, Wilborn CD. Effects of resistance training and protein plus amino acid supplementation on muscle anabolism, mass, and strength. Amino Acids. 2007;32:467–77.
Weisgarber KD, Candow DG, Vogt ESM. Whey protein before and during resistance exercise has no effect on muscle mass and strength in untrained young adults. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2012;22:463–9.
Burd NA, Andrews RJ, West DW, et al. Muscle time under tension during resistance exercise stimulates differential muscle protein sub-fractional synthetic responses in men. J Physiol. 2012;590:351–62.
Burd NA, West DW, Staples AW, et al. Low-load high volume resistance exercise stimulates muscle protein synthesis more than high-load low volume resistance exercise in young men. PLoS One. 2010;5:e12033.
Burd NA, Holwerda AM, Selby KC, et al. Resistance exercise volume affects myofibrillar protein synthesis and anabolic signalling molecule phosphorylation in young men. J Physiol. 2010;588:3119–30.
Mielke M, Housh TJ, Malek MH, et al. The effects of whey protein and leucine supplementation on strength, muscular endurance, and body composition during resistance training. J Exerc Physiol Online. 2009;12:39–50.
Candow DG, Burke NC, Smith-Palmer T, et al. Effect of whey and soy protein supplementation combined with resistance training in young adults. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006;16:233–44.
Tang JE, Moore DR, Kujbida GW, et al. Ingestion of whey hydrolysate, casein, or soy protein isolate: effects on mixed muscle protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in young men. J Appl Physiol. 2009;107:987–92.
Luiking YC, Deutz NEP, Jäkel M, et al. Casein and soy protein meals differentially affect whole-body and splanchnic protein metabolism in healthy humans. J Nutr. 2005;135:1080–7.
Volek JS, Volk BM, Gomez AL, et al. Whey protein supplementation during resistance training augments lean body mass. J Am Coll Nutr. 2013;32:122–35.
Herda AA, Herda TJ, Costa PB, et al. Muscle performance, size, and safety responses after eight weeks of resistance training and protein supplementation: a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27:3091–100.
Williams AG, Vd Oord M, Sharma A, et al. Is glucose/amino acid supplementation after exercise an aid to strength training? Br J Sports Med. 2001;35:109–13.
Tang JE, Perco JG, Moore DR, et al. Resistance training alters the response of fed state mixed muscle protein synthesis in young men. Am J Physiol. 2008;294:R172–8.
Bird SP, Tarpenning KM, Marino FE. Independent and combined effects of liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion on hormonal and muscular adaptations following resistance training in untrained men. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006;97:225–38.
Vieillevoye S, Poortmans JR, Duchateau J, et al. Effects of a combined essential amino acids/carbohydrate supplementation on muscle mass, architecture and maximal strength following heavy-load training. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010;110:479–88.
Olsen S, Aagaard P, Kadi F, et al. Creatine supplementation augments the increase in satellite cell and myonuclei number in human skeletal muscle induced by strength training. J Physiol. 2006;573:525–34.
Walberg-Rankin J, Goldman LP, Puglisi MJ, et al. Effect of post-exercise supplement consumption on adaptations to resistance training. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004;23:322–30.
Hartman JW, Tang JE, Wilkinson SB, et al. Comsumption of fat-free milk after resistance exercise promotes greater lean mass accretion than does consumption of soy or carbohydrate in young, novice, male weightlifters. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;86:373–81.
Josse AR, Tang JE, Tarnopolsky MA, et al. Body composition and strength changes in women with milk and resistance exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42:1122–30.
White KM, Bauer SJ, Hartz KK, et al. Changes in body composition with yogurt consumption during resistance training in women. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2009;19:18–33.
Lemon PWR, Tarnopolsky MA, MacDougall JD, et al. Protein requirements and muscle mass/strength changes during intensive training in novice bodybuilders. J Appl Physiol. 1992;73:767–75.
Moritani T, deVries HA. Neural factors versus hypertrophy in the time course of muscle strength gain. Am J Phys Med. 1979;58:115–30.
Sale DG. Neural adaptation to resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1988;20(5 Suppl):S135–45.
Phillips SM, Tipton KD, Ferrando AA, et al. Resistance training reduces the acute exercise-induced increase in muscle protein turnover. Am J Physiol. 1999;276:E118–24.
Kim PL, Staron RS, Phillips SM. Fasted-state skeletal muscle protein synthesis after resistance exercise is altered with training. J Physiol. 2005;568:283–90.
Fry AD, Kraemer WJ, Stone MH, et al. Endocrine and performance responses to high volume training and amino acid supplementation in elite junior weightlifters. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 1993;3:306–22.
Ratamess NA, Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, et al. The effects of amino acid supplementation on muscular performance during resistance training overreaching. J Strength Cond Res. 2003;17:250–8.
Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA, Volek JS, et al. The effects of amino acid supplementation on hormonal responses to resistance training overreaching. Metab Clin Exp. 2006;55:282–91.
Burke DG, Chilibeck PD, Davison KS, et al. The effect of whey protein supplementation with and without creatine monohydrate combined with resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscle strength. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2001;11:349–64.
Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Stathis CG, et al. Effects of whey isolate, creatine, and resistance training on muscle hypertrophy. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39:298–307.
Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Hayes A. A creatine-protein-carbohydrate supplement enhances responses to resistance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007;39:1960–8.
Cribb PJ, Williams AD, Carey MF, et al. The effect of whey isolate and resistance training on strength, body composition, and plasma glutamine. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006;16:494–509.
Wilborn CD, Taylor LW, Outlaw J, et al. The effects of pre- and post-exercise whey vs. casein protein consumption on body composition and performance measures in collegiate female athletes. J Sports Sci Med. 2013;12:74–9.
Joy JM, Lowrey RP, Wilson JM, et al. The effects of 8 weeks of whey or rice protein supplementation on body composition and exercise performance. Nutr J. 2013;12:86.
Colker CM, Swain MA, Fabrucine B, et al. Effects of supplemental protein on body composition and muscular strength in healthy athletic male adults. Curr Ther Res Clin Exp. 2000;61:19–28.
Kerksick CM, Rasmussen CJ, Lancaster SL, et al. The effect of protein and amino acid supplementation on performance and training adaptations during 10 weeks of resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2006;20:643–53.
Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Tranchina CP, et al. Effect of protein-supplement timing on strength, power, and body composition changes in resistance-trained men. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2009;19:172–85.
Wilkinson SB, Phillips SM, Atherton PJ, et al. Differential effects of resistance and endurance exercise in the fed state on signalling molecule phosphorylation and protein synthesis in human muscle. J Physiol. 2008;586:3701–17.
Howarth KR, Moreau NA, Phillips SM, et al. Coingestion of protein with carbohydrate during recovery from endurance exercise stimulates skeletal muscle protein synthesis in humans. J Appl Physiol. 2009;106:1394–402.
Breen L, Philip A, Witard OC, et al. The influence of carbohydrate-protein co-ingestion following endurance exercise on myofibrillar and mitochondrial protein synthesis. J Physiol. 2011;589:4011–25.
Ferguson-Stegall L, McCleave E, Ding Z, et al. Aerobic exercise training adaptations are increased by postexercise carbohydrate-protein supplementation. J Nutr Metab. 2011;2011:623182.
Laskowski R, Antosiewicz J. Increased adaptability of young judo sportsmen after protein supplementation. J Sports Med Phys Fit. 2003;43:342–6.
Crowe MJ, Weatherson JN, Bowden BF. Effects of dietary leucine supplementation on exercise performance. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006;97:664–72.
Fahlström M, Fahlström PG, Lorentzon R, et al. Positive short-term subjective effect of sports drink supplementation during recovery. J Sports Med Phys Fit. 2006;46:578–84.
Walker TB, Smith J, Herrera M, et al. The influence of 8 weeks of whey-protein and leucine supplementation on physical and cognitive performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010;20:409–17.
Lunn WR, Pasiakos SM, Colletto MR, et al. Chocolate milk and endurance exercise recovery: protein balance, glycogen, and performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44:682–91.
Nelson AR, Phillips SM, Stellingwerff T, et al. A protein-leucine supplement increases branched-chain amino acid and nitrogen turnover but not performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44:57–68.
Phillips SM, Parise G, Roy BD, et al. Resistance-training-induced adaptations in skeletal muscle protein turnover in the fed state. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2002;80:1045–53.
Amann M, Hopkins WG, Marcora SM. Similar sensitivity of time to exhaustion and time-trial time to changes in endurance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40:574–8.
Clark RV, Walker AC, O’Connor-Semmes RL, et al. Total body skeletal muscle mass: estimation by creatine (methyl-d3) dilution in humans. J Appl Physiol. 2014. doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00045.2014.
Häkkinen K, Komi PV. Electromyographic changes during strength training and detraining. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1983;6:455–60.
Häkkinen K, Komi PV, Tesch PA. Effect of combined concentric and eccentric strength training and detraining on force-time, muscle fibre, and metabolic characteristics of leg extensor muscles. Scand J Sports Sci. 1981;3:50–8.
Seynnes OR, deBoer M, Narici MV. Early skeletal muscle hypertrophy and architectural changes in response to high-intensity resistance training. J Appl Physiol. 2007;102:368–73.
Davidsen PK, Gallagher IJ, Hartman JW, et al. High responders to resistance execise training demonstrate differential regulation of skeletal muscle microRNA expression. J Appl Physiol. 2011;110:309–17.
Spina RJ, Chi MM-Y, Hopkins MG, et al. Mitochondrial enzymes increase in muscle in response to 7–10 days of cycle exercise. J Appl Physiol. 1996;80:2250–4.
Chesley A, Heigenhauser GJF, Spriet LL. Regulation of muscle glycogen phosphorylase activity following short-term endurance training. Am J Physiol. 1996;270:E328–35.
This work was supported by the US Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) and the Department of Defense Center Alliance for Dietary Supplements Research. The views, opinions and/or findings in this report are those of the authors, and should not be construed as an official Department of the Army position, policy or decision, unless so designated by other official documentation. Citation of commercial organization and trade names in this report do not constitute an official Department of the Army endorsement or approval of the products or services of these organizations.
T.M. McLellan was supported by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and USAMRMC.
The authors have no potential conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this review.
About this article
Cite this article
Pasiakos, S.M., McLellan, T.M. & Lieberman, H.R. The Effects of Protein Supplements on Muscle Mass, Strength, and Aerobic and Anaerobic Power in Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review. Sports Med 45, 111–131 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-014-0242-2
- Muscle Strength
- Resistance Training
- Resistance Exercise
- Whey Protein
- Lean Mass