Proteins Alone or With Carbohydrates After Training?

Proteins Alone or With Carbohydrates After Training?

Whey or Gainer: What post-workout supplementation is the most effective way to increase muscle mass?

It is not uncommon in sports halls to see a lot of people shake their shaker frantically once the workout is over. These shakers most often contain the famous whey protein mixed with water, or the no less famous ” gainer ” (combination of proteins and carbohydrates). The goal of these shakers: optimize recovery and / or increase muscle mass through protein synthesis (and therefore increase muscle strength). But are these products as effective as their assertions claim it?

Two studies conducted in 2007 and 2015 sought to answer this question.

That of 2015 (1) tends to demonstrate that the intake of whey, at a rate of a dose of 1.2 g to 1.5 g per kilogram of body weight per day (30 g post-workout) and in the context a balanced diet, allow an increase in muscle mass while causing a significant decrease in fat, including abdominal (which is a cardiovascular risk factor and which limits the performance). It has also shown that taking a mixture of proteins and carbohydrates does not induce an increase in muscle adaptation compared to the intake of protein alone, nor a decrease in fat, but allows the recovery of the stocks of protein. muscle glycogen (a form of storage of carbohydrates in the muscle)

This recent study confirms the 2007 study according to which whey intake stimulates protein synthesis and thus allows long-term increase of muscle mass, whereas the combined intake of proteins and carbohydrates does not allow it (2).This study also showed that the protein + carbohydrate mixture does not give rise to an anabolic response that is superior to protein alone, but allows the reconstitution of muscle glycogen stores.

Both reported that muscle volume increased significantly in participants. This is well explained when we look at the effects of whey on the muscles. But not for the carbohydrate + protein mixture unless you remember that every gram of glycogen stored in the muscle invariably results in the retention of 2.7 g of water. In other words, if the volume obtained is the same, the quality of the acquired mass will be very different.

Conclusion: a whey shaker will be more profitable than a shaker shaker, even if your muscles will look as bulky regardless of the product.


(1) Hulmi JJ, Laakso M, Mero AA, Hakkinen K, Ahtiainen JP, Peltonen H .: The effects of whey protein with or without carbohydrates on resistance training adaptations. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015 Dec 16; 12:48
(2) Koopman R, Beelen M, Stellingwerff T, Pennings B, Saris WH, AK Kies, Kuipers H, van Loon LJ. : Coingestion of carbohydrate with protein does not further increase postexercise muscle protein synthesis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Sep; 293 (3): E833-42.

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