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Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

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There are conflicting reports regarding the efficacy of plant versus animal-derived protein to support muscle and strength development with resistance training. The purpose of this study was to determine whether soy and whey protein supplements matched for leucine would comparably support strength increases and muscle growth following 12 weeks of resistance training. Sixty-one untrained young men (n = 19) and women (n = 42) (18–35 year) enrolled in this study, and 48 completed the trial (17 men, 31 women). All participants engaged in supervised resistance training 3×/week and consumed 19 grams of whey protein isolate or 26 grams of soy protein isolate, both containing 2 g (grams) of leucine. Multi-level modeling indicated that total body mass (0.68 kg; 95% CI: 0.08, 1.29 kg; p < 0.001), lean body mass (1.54 kg; 95% CI: 0.94, 2.15 kg; p < 0.001), and peak torque of leg extensors (40.27 Nm; 95% CI: 28.98, 51.57 Nm, p < 0.001) and flexors (20.44 Nm; 95% CI: 12.10, 28.79 Nm; p < 0.001) increased in both groups. Vastus lateralis muscle thickness tended to increase, but this did not reach statistical significance (0.12 cm; 95% CI: −0.01, 0.26 cm; p = 0.08). No differences between groups were observed (p > 0.05). These data indicate that increases in lean mass and strength in untrained participants are comparable when strength training and supplementing with soy or whey matched for leucine.


This article was originally published Open Access in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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