Are Protein Blends The Future Of Sports Nutrition?

According to Ralf Jaeger, PhD, FISSN, President of Milwaukee-based consultancy Increnovo LLC, who spoke at NutraIngredients’ Sports and Lifestyle Nutrition 2013 online event, ‘We will see more about protein blends. I’ve just been involved in a clinical study looking at the effect of rice protein isolate and comparing this directly to whey protein isolate. If you consume 48 grams of each, three times a week post-exercise, both protein sources yielded the same gains in lean body mass and strength. If you use sufficient amounts of protein you see similar effects.’

Jaeger, who was joined on the panel by Director of Sports and Fitness, Herbalife, John Heiss, PhD, and Technical Sales Support Manager Nutrition, FrieslandCampina DMV, Mieke Acda, explained that ‘we know plant sources are effective. We learn more and more about nutrient timing, so therefore we’ll see more and more blends that actually combine different protein sources in a way that you can actually optimise lean body mass.’

Dr Heiss has led the development of Herbalife’s 24 range of sports nutrition wellness products. He said, ‘For the 24 range, we combined blends of protein. What this allows us to do is get the benefits of rapidly digested whey protein to deliver amino acids quickly to muscle, and combine it with casein which provides the more sustained release of amino acids to extend that muscle building window. These blends are becoming more popular and we’ve some of that into the marketing copy.’

There’s currently no scientific evidence to suggest that protein blends improve your wellbeing than single sources, but Jaeger says that this shows a lack of effectiveness in research studies, rather than in the blends themselves: ‘As of today, there is no real scientific studies that show that blends of proteins are better than the single source of high quality protein, so the science has to catch up and show that these blends really have a physiological benefit. People are working on it right now and I can expect to see some high quality papers in the next two to three years.’



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