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Hybrid athlete using a foam roller in the gym

Your Protein Quality Matters, Creatine for Endurance, and the Effectiveness of Foam Rolling on Performance

Welcome to our weekly summary of the latest research from the world of sports nutrition.

In this week’s summary:


The Importance of Protein Quality in Muscle Protein Synthesis

Blonyx Egg White Protein Isolate in a shaker bottle

This 2024 trial explored the effects of whey, pea, and collagen protein supplements on muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in older men. Over two weeks, participants consumed their regular diet plus 50g of one of these proteins daily. Results showed that whey and pea proteins significantly boosted MPS, while collagen did not. This suggests that higher-quality proteins like whey and pea can better support muscle maintenance in older adults, countering age-related muscle loss. The study emphasizes the importance of protein quality in overcoming age-related anabolic resistance and maintaining muscle health in older age.

Our thoughts: Not all protein sources are created equal, and the source of your protein can significantly impact how easy it is for your body to understand and use. Additionally, consuming an extra 50g of whey protein on top of your normal diet could lead to stomach issues, so I’d be curious to see this study completed with a real-food protein, such as egg whites, like we use in our Egg White Protein Isolate.


How Creatine Loading Impacts Strength and Endurance in the Short-term

Strength athlete performing squats

This May 2024 study examined how short-term creatine loading impacts strength endurance and maximal strength in strength-trained men. Twelve participants took either 20g of creatine with 10g of maltodextrin or a placebo for five days. The study measured maximal strength, strength endurance through bench press sets, blood lactate, perceived effort, fatigue, and mood state before and after supplementation. Results showed no significant changes in maximal strength, blood lactate, perceived effort, fatigue, or mood in either group. However, those taking creatine performed significantly more repetitions and had higher total work output during the bench press exercise. This indicates that while creatine doesn't boost maximal strength in the short term, it enhances the ability to perform more repetitions, leading to greater overall work.

Our thoughts: Creatine is a simple energy source stored in and used by muscles. It makes sense that this additional energy could help you get a few more reps before fatiguing. That being said, there aren't many studies looking at this yet and this study is small. We're hoping there's more to come, and it would be interesting to see this same type of study done on endurance athletes since we always recommend HMB+ Creatine for their performance and recovery.


The Effectiveness of the Foam Rolling Recovery Method on Performance

Hybrid athlete using a foam roller in the gym

This study explored whether foam rolling helps water polo players recover and improve performance over a seven-week training period. Thirty players were divided into a control group and a foam roller group, both following identical training schedules. Performance tests included in-water boosts, throwing speed, and 20-meter sprints, along with monitoring heart rate, perceived exertion, and recovery quality. The results showed no significant benefits from foam rolling on performance or recovery measures. Both groups had a slight decrease in in-water boost, with no notable improvements in other tests, suggesting foam rolling did not enhance recovery or performance in water polo players.

Our thoughts: Research on foam rolling is inconsistent, and I feel that its impact on recovery or performance will be negligible. However, it's a quick way to get a muscle to release and relax, allowing it to stretch out naturally. I believe this can have a positive impact on injured muscles, allowing them to heal faster. If a foam roller is all you have available, use it, but it’s better if you can combine it with other recovery strategies like supplementing with HMB or contrast therapy.


That’s all for this week. We hope you learned something new that you can incorporate into your training!


— Train hard!


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