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Does Beef Protein Supplementation Improve Body Composition and Exercise Performance? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Valenzuela, Pedro L., Mata, Fernando, Morales, Javier S., Castillo-García, Adrián, Lucia, Alejandro
Nutrients 2019 v.11 no.6
athletic performance, beef, exercise, hematologic tests, iron, lean body mass, meta-analysis, muscle strength, protein content, protein intake, protein sources, protein supplements, randomized clinical trials, systematic review, whey protein
Protein supplementation might improve body composition and exercise performance. Supplements containing whey protein (WP) have received the most attention, but other protein sources such as beef protein (BP) are gaining popularity. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that compared the effects of exercise training combined with BP, WP or no protein supplementation (NP), on body composition or exercise performance. Secondary endpoints included intervention effects on total protein intake and hematological parameters. Seven studies (n = 270 participants) were included. No differences were found between BP and WP for total protein intake (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.04, p = 0.892), lean body mass (LBM) (SMD = &minus;0.01, p = 0.970) or fat mass (SMD = 0.07, p = 0.760). BP significantly increased total daily protein intake (SMD = 0.68, p < 0.001), LBM (SMD = 0.34, p = 0.049) and lower-limb muscle strength (SMD = 0.40, p = 0.014) compared to NP, but no significant differences were found between both conditions for fat mass (SMD = 0.15, p = 0.256), upper-limb muscle strength (SMD = 0.16, p = 0.536) or total iron intake (SMD = 0.29, p = 0.089). In summary, BP provides similar effects to WP on protein intake and body composition and, compared to NP, might be an effective intervention to increase total daily protein intake, LBM and lower-limb muscle strength.