Study: Athletes Benefit from Sports Drink with Added Protein

Adding protein to a sports beverage may allow athletes to exercise longer, according to research published last week in the

Adding protein to a sports beverage may allow athletes to exercise longer, according to research published last week in the .

Researchers weighed the differences in time to exhaustion for athletes exercising while supplementing with protein and carbohydrates versus carbohydrates, alone. Fifteen male and female trained cyclists were assigned to three hours of exercise in two stages: 45% and 75% V2Omax. Following this exercise, the subjects were then assigned to exercise from 74.85% V2Omax to exhaustion. During each exercise, subjects were assigned to sports beverages (275 mL) every 20 minutes, containing 6% carbohydrates (glucose, maltodextrin, and fructose) or 3% carbohydrates with 1.2% protein.

Could added protein with 50% fewer carbs affect time to exhaustion during aerobic exercise?

The results indicate that it can. While time to exhaustion was no different in the two groups, eight subjects were cycling below or at ventilatory threshold (near max heart rate) and protein showed a significant effect on time to exhaustion here (a 45.64-minute average compared to a 36.47-minute average).