The Whey to Muscles? Whey/creatine combo boosts strength and lean muscle mass

Looking to make gains in the gym before swimsuit season? Researchers at Victoria University in Australia report that supplementation with a 100% whey isolate formulation and creatine produced significant muscle fibre growth increases that also led to increases in strength.

Whey is a naturally occurring dairy protein found in cows’ milk. Whey isolate, the highest quality form of whey that is extracted and purified during the cheese making process, is shown in research to possess some extraordinary nutritional properties. Creatine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. When taken as a supplement, is has been shown to increase lean muscle mass and strength. It has also been shown to aid in recovery after workouts.

In the study by Australian researchers, 33 experienced bodybuilders were sorted into four groups: one took creatine with a carbohydrate; one took whey protein isolate; one took whey protein isolate and creatine; and one took a carbohydrate only. Analysis of muscle fibres before and after 11 weeks of resistance training showed a significantly greater increase in the cross sectional area (size) of the fast-twitch muscle fibres in the men supplementing with whey isolate and creatine, compared to the other groups. Fast-twitch muscle fibre are responsible for maximal force production and the growth response to resistance training.

The researchers note that their results have important implications not only to athletes, but also the aging population and others that suffer from debilitating conditions that cause muscle wasting.

American Physiological Society, Apr 9, 2003