A shake containing just whey works just as well as a shake containing whey and glucose. A shake containing whey, glucose and creatine is a different kettle of fish, according to a study by Paul Cribb, a nutritionist associated with the supplements brand AST. The study was done on 31 male recreational bodybuilders.
Besides the straightforward proteins, supplements stores are selling more and more mixtures containing whey, glucose and creatine. But are these better? Cribb answers this question partially in the study he did while at Victoria University in Australia.
Cribb got his subjects to all train in the same way for 10 weeks. And they were all given a shake three times a day too: in the morning, after training and before going to bed. All shakes contained approximately the same amount of calories.
The first group of bodybuilders [PRO] used whey every day. The amount was adjusted to bodyweight, so a bodybuilder weighing 80 kg got 103 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates and 1.2 g fat each day. That’s an energy content of 447 kcal.
The bodybuilders in the second group [PRO-CHO] were given a mixture of whey and glucose every day. The 80 kg bodybuilder in this group got a daily 52 g protein, 59 g carbs and 0.6 g fat. That’s an energy content of 449 kcal.
The Cr-PRO-CHO group built up the most lean body mass and also had the biggest 1RM gain, as the figures below show. This combination also caused the biggest growth in fast type II muscle fibre.
In this study whey shakes worked just as well as shakes containing glucose and whey. If you want to lose fat, then whey shakes actually work better, but shakes containing creatine, glucose and whey work best of all. It’s a shame that Cribb didn’t look at shakes without glucose, but just whey and creatine. These would probably be even better for body composition.
The supplements used in the study were from the AST factories.
A creatine-protein-carbohydrate supplement enhances responses to resistance training.
Studies attributing gains in strength and lean body mass (LBM) to creatine monohydrate (CrM) during resistance exercise (RE) training have not assessed these changes alongside cellular and subcellular adaptations. Additionally, CrM-treated groups have seldom been compared with a group receiving a placebo similar in nitrogen and energy. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a CrM-containing protein-carbohydrate (PRO-CHO) supplement in comparison with a supplement containing a similar amount of nitrogen and energy on body composition, muscle strength, fiber-specific hypertrophy, and contractile protein accrual during RE training.
In a double-blind, randomized protocol, resistance-trained males were matched for strength and placed into one of three groups: protein (PRO), PRO-CHO, or the same PRO-CHO supplement (1.5 g x kg(-1) body weight x d(-1)) containing CrM (Cr-PRO-CHO) (0.1 g x kg(-1) body weight x d(-1)). Assessments were completed the week before and after a 10-wk structured, supervised RE program: strength (1RM, three exercises), body composition (DEXA), and vastus lateralis muscle biopsies for determination of muscle fiber type (I, IIa, IIx), cross-sectional area (CSA), contractile protein, and creatine content.
Cr-PRO-CHO provided greater improvements in 1RM strength. At least 40% of the strength improvements could be attributed to hypertrophy of muscle involved in this exercise. Cr-PRO-CHO also resulted in greater increases in LBM, fiber CSA, and contractile protein compared with PRO and PRO-CHO.
In RE-trained participants, supplementation with Cr-PRO-CHO provided greater muscle hypertrophy than an equivalent dose of PRO-CHO, and this response was apparent at three levels of physiology (LBM, fiber CSA, and contractile protein content).
PMID: 17986903 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]