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Study Sheds Light on Protein Consumption Strategies to Improve Body Composition and Strength

Authors of a study published in the scientific journal “Frontiers in Nutrition” compared the effects of consuming Greek yogurt (a serving size containing 20 grams of protein) with a carbohydrate solution in conjunction with a strength training program.

Here is what they did:

  • Immediately after the strength training workout, they consumed Greek yogurt. The serving of Greek yogurt contained 110 calories with 20 grams of protein.
  •  1 hour after the strength training workout, they again, consumed Greek yogurt.
  • Just before going to bed, they consumed Greek yogurt.
A second group of subjects performed the exact same workouts but instead of Greek yogurt, they consumed a carbohydrate solution. This solution had 110 calories and no protein.  The consistency of the carbohydrate solution was very similar to the Greek yogurt and both groups were “blinded” (they didn’t know if they were consuming protein).

The Greek yogurt group’s results were impressive:

  • Improvements in muscle strength when compared to the non-protein group (measured on chest press, seated row, and leg extension).
  •  Increase in muscle thickness compared to the non-protein group (measured at the biceps and thigh).
  • Reduction in body fat percentage compared to the non-protein group (all body mass they gained was muscle and all body mass they lost was fat).
The results not only illustrate the importance of protein following our strength training workouts but also shed light on new strategies for how we consume our protein.

Consider these take home strategies:

  1. First, Consume 20 grams of protein immediately following your workout. Second, make an effort to consume another 20 grams within the next 60 minutes post workout.
  2. Consume 20 grams of protein just before bed.  A growing body of research suggests that consuming protein before bed aids in increasing both muscle mass and muscle strength.


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