Research Preview: Dairy Hydrolysate for Exercise Recovery


An upcoming study aims to learn more about how protein enhances the body’s recovery of glycogen fuel stores after exercise.

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Researchers in Ireland are launching a new study to learn if a dairy-based protein ingredient may lead to faster recovery times after exercise.

The human, randomized control trial will investigate the effects of a dairy hydrolysate on the body’s metabolic response post-exercise, and compare the hydrolysate’s action with its parent protein or carbohydrates. Food for Health Ireland (FHI; Dublin) announced the study, which will be conducted by scientists based at University College Dublin.

According to FHI, previous research has shown that the combination of carbohydrates and proteins may speed up post-exercise recovery by increasing the recovery of glycogen fuel stores. However, it was unclear why this combination, and protein specifically, enhances the recovery of the body’s fuel stores.

FHI hopes that by investigating the way different combinations of nutrients impact recovery from exercise, it will expand the understanding of how to better develop strategies to optimize recovery for athletes.

The upcoming study will look at a dairy protein hydrolysate in particular because “compared to whole proteins, hydrolysates deliver amino acids quicker to the muscle and may have other bioactive properties,” says FHI. The dairy hydrolysate may also affect the body’s insulin response, which can also speed recovery and build lean body mass, according to FHI.

Researchers plan to include 12 trained cyclists in the study, with the intention of finishing participant recruitment by the end of October 2015. Although post-exercise recovery in general will be investigated in the study, the researchers plan to look directly at the “recovery of fuel stores by measuring the resynthesis of glycogen,” says NHI.

“Our new study will focus on taking advantage of improving the post-exercise nutrition profile and insulin activity, so athletes or recreational exercisers can optimize muscle recovery and achieve significant improvements in subsequent performance,” says Jens Bleiel, CEO, FHI.

“FHI aims to identify bioactive ingredients from milk, ensure that any components found satisfy real consumer needs, and accelerate their commercialization through FHI’s industry partners,” says Bleiel.


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Michael Crane
Associate Editor
Nutritional Outlook Magazine

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