Monday September 16, 2019

Protein Shakes may Not be Most Effective Way to Relieve Aching Muscles

While proteins and carbohydrates are essential for the effective repair of muscle fibres following intensive strength training

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Protein, Shakes, Aching Muscles
The researchers have found that neither whey-protein based shakes nor milk-based formulas enhanced the rate of muscle recovery following resistance training when compared to a carbohydrate only drink. LifetimeStock

Protein shakes have long been touted as a gym bag essential, consumed by gym-goers in an effort to boost muscle recovery and minimise post-workout muscle soreness, but they may not be the most effective way to relieve aching muscles, a new study suggests.

The researchers have found that neither whey-protein based shakes nor milk-based formulas enhanced the rate of muscle recovery following resistance training when compared to a carbohydrate only drink.

“While proteins and carbohydrates are essential for the effective repair of muscle fibres following intensive strength training, our research suggests that varying the form of protein immediately following training does not strongly influence the recovery response or reduce muscle pain,” said study lead by author Thomas Gee from the University of Lincoln in the UK.

The experiment involved 30 male participants, all of whom had at least a year’s resistance training experience.

Protein, Shakes, Aching Muscles
Protein shakes have long been touted as a gym bag essential, consumed by gym-goers in an effort to boost muscle recovery and minimise post-workout muscle soreness, but they may not be the most effective way to relieve aching muscles, a new study suggests. LifetimeStock

Researchers asked participants to rate their levels of muscle soreness on a visual scale from ‘no muscle soreness’ (0) through to ‘muscle soreness as bad as it could be’ (200).

Participants also completed a series of strength and power assessments to test their muscle function.

The results showed a significant rise in the levels of muscle soreness across the three groups 24 hours and 48 hours after the initial resistance training session, with ratings for all groups rising to over 90, significantly higher than the groups baseline ratings, which ranged from 19-26.

The study also showed reductions in muscle power and function.

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The findings published in the journal Human Kinetics, suggest there was no difference in recovery response between the different formulas and no additional benefit of protein consumption on muscle recovery.

“The dependence on protein shakes is one of the fads that need to be dispelled, especially when one uses it as a post-workout concoction to combat muscle pain,” Ashutosh Jha, Consultant Orthopaedics, Columbia Asia Hospital in Ghaziabad, told IANS. (IANS)

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If Doing Night Shift, Eat Small Protein-Rich, Complex Carb Snack to Stay Alert, Productive

According to researchers, working at night conflicts with a person's circadian clock, making it harder to stay focused and awake

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Night, Protein, Snack
To limit this impact and maintain alertness and productivity, researchers say a light snack is better than a full meal. Pixabay

If you are a night shift worker, eating at irregular hours is just par for the course, but it impacts the body. To limit this impact and maintain alertness and productivity, researchers say a light snack is better than a full meal.

According to researchers, working at night conflicts with a person’s circadian clock, making it harder to stay focused and awake. Managing fatigue is thus critical for workplace health and safety.

“Night shift work is linked to certain chronic illnesses and diseases, including metabolic gastrointestinal issues, ulcer, obesity and heart disease. People who do night shifts don’t get sufficient sleep, which impacts their metabolism and appetite,” Shalini Bliss, Head Dietitian, Columbia Asia Hospital, in Gurugram, told IANS.

“They also tend to have a poor diet and irregular eating habits, which can affect their health and performance. If you are doing night shift, you should eat a small protein-rich, complex carb snack instead of a full meal during the break,” she said.

Night, Protein, Snack
If you are a night shift worker, eating at irregular hours is just par for the course, but it impacts the body. Pixabay

Published in the journal Nutrients, researchers from the University of South Australia surveyed 44 people to test the impact of a snack, a meal or no food at all during night shifts.

The study found while all participants reported increased sleepiness, fatigue and decreased vigour, a snack lowered the impact more so than a meal or no food at all. The snack group also reported no discomfort, as noted by the meal group.

“The findings show the strategic eating pattern on night shift may contribute to more alert and better-performing workers,” said study lead author Charlotte Gupta.

Sharing his experience with IANS, New Delhi-based Varun Matta, who does night shifts at an MNC, said, “I have been doing night shifts for over two year. I have found that people often complain about restlessness, migraine and headache. Every alternate week, I have seen an ambulance leaving office due to these problems.”

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Neha Pathania, dietitian at Paras Hospital in Gurugram, told IANS the human body through thousands of years of evolution is programmed to sleep during night and work during the day.

“While no food is a strict no-no, a heavy meal can slow the body metabolism and signal the body to go to sleep. The best option, therefore, is light healthy snacks, including fruits and fluids,” she said. (IANS)