A MYTH AND A REALITY
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.
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.
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," said Ashutosh Jha, Consultant Orthopaedics, Columbia Asia Hospital in Ghaziabad.
While men in India are prone to develop lifestyle diseases in their 30s, women tend to develop them a couple of decades later – in their 50s, says a study.
Indian men between the ages of 30-44 years have a high incidence of high LDL – low density lipoprotein, or the so called "bad cholesterol" – one of the major causes for a variety of lifestyle diseases, showed the findings from the survey by home diagnostic service provider Healthians.
However, for women this high risk becomes a reality once they cross the age of 50 – the risk being highest between the ages of 50-59.
"These disturbing statistics force us to focus on the sorry state of our work force," Deepak Sahni, Founder and CEO of Healthians, said in a statement.
"India's biggest economic strength is having one of the youngest working populations in the world. However, the health of this valuable asset seems to be balanced on a knife's edge," Sahni added.
The findings are based on a study of more than 4 lakh patients across different age groups and locations conducted over a period of one year.
According to a joint report prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Economic Forum, lifestyle diseases account for almost 60 per cent of deaths worldwide and are responsible for almost 44 per cent of premature deaths.
"The silver lining on this gloomy cloud is the fact that lifestyle diseases are mostly controllable. Some changes in diet, adequate and appropriate exercise and most importantly, regular preventive health check-ups can go a long way in making such statistics far more palatable," said Manjula Sardana, Head of Quality at Healthians.