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Beef Protein vs. Whey Protein

After a strenuous and sweaty bout of exercising, should you reach for beef protein or whey protein? To help you decide which is best, an eight-week study compared the effects of beef protein isolate and whey protein isolate, taken after resistance training, on lean body mass and strength. The findings were presented at the Twelfth International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) Conference and Expo in June 2015 and reported on in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The study included 30 resistance-trained young adults who were randomly assigned to one of three groups for the eight week trial: The first group was given two daily servings (46 grams total) of a beef protein powder supplement immediately after exercising; the second group was given two daily servings (46 grams total) of a whey protein powder supplement immediately after exercising; and the third group was given two daily servings (46 grams total) of a maltodextrin powder, which served as the placebo, immediately after exercising or at a similar time on exercise-free days. All of the participants did resistance (strength) training three days per week and cardio (aerobic) training two days per week. After eight weeks, researchers measured changes in the participants’ body compositions and strength. Here is what the researchers found:

  • Lean body mass increased by 5.7% in the beef protein group and by 4.7% in the whey protein group.
  • Strength increased similarly in all three groups.

These results indicate that, if you want to increase your lean body mass, taking either beef or whey protein supplements after exercising can help support that process. But, if you’re looking to maximize muscle strength, neither beef nor whey protein appears to boost your workouts, according to this study.

Source: Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition

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