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The Science of XOJO SPORTS

Does taking protein DURING exercise make a difference?

New research shows that taking protein during exercise is important.



Here are independent peer‐reviewed scientific results from the National Library of Medicine that confirm it.

 “It is the position of the International Society of Sport Nutrition that exercising individuals should consume high quality protein within the time period encompassing their exercise session (i.e. before, during, and after).” J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 4:8‐21.

“Co‐ingestion of carbohydrate and protein during training reduces training stress and enhances subsequent exercise performance.” Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 38(6):597‐604.


Carbohydrate plus protein supplement during resistance training is recommended to reduce muscle damage and soreness. Strength Cond Res. 21(2):321‐9.

“Carbohydrate‐protein ingestion improves subsequent running capacity towards the end of a football‐specific intermittent exercise.” Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 36(5):748‐57.

Ingesting carbohydrate with added whey‐protein isolate during treadmill running increases the growth‐hormone response to a second exhaustive exercise bout of similar duration. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 23(3):259‐70.

“In summary, we found that the addition of protein to a carbohydrate supplement [during exercise] enhanced aerobic endurance performance above that which occurred with carbohydrate alone.” Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab.13(3):382‐95.

The Quality of a protein source is determined by the more precise protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). Protein isolates [e.g. soy and whey isolates] presents the highest PDCAAS out of all of the common protein sources due to its high content of essential and branched chain amino acids.” J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 4:8‐21.

This study examined the effects of a carbohydrate‐protein beverage taken every 15 minutes during exercise on cycling endurance and muscle damage. It was found that a beverage with protein and carbohydrates produced significant improvements in time to fatigue and reductions in muscle damage in endurance athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 36(7):1233‐8.

“Deficiency in BCAA intake can easily be remedied by consuming whey protein during the time frame encompassing the exercise session.” J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 4:8‐21.

“Ingesting protein, in addition to carbohydrates, during strenuous training lowered exercise stress, as indicated by reduced heart rate, RPE, and muscle damage, when compared with carbohydrate alone.” Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 38(6):597‐604.

High intensity slalom performance can be improved by the ingestion of protein plus carbohydrate. Supplementation with carbohydrate/protein during high intensity ski training improved training volume and also reduced the number of DNF's during training. J Sports Sci Med. 11(3):537‐41.

“Carbohydrate plus protein ingestion during training is also likely to enhance recovery, providing a worthwhile improvement in subsequent cycling time‐trial performance.” Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 38(6):597‐604.

When protein was added to a Carbohydrate supplement, subsequent running capacity following limited recovery from intermittent exercise was enhanced….suggesting that protein co‐ingestion benefits endurance capacity during intermittent activity. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 36(5):748‐57.

“Carbohydrate‐protein ingestion is likely to enhance multiple‐sprint sport exercise performance above carbohydrate, potentially through altered central fatigue or increased protein oxidation.” J Sports Sci. 2013;31(4):361‐9.

Post‐exercise improvements in markers of muscle disruption with Carbohydrate plus Protein ingestion appear to be independent of carbohydrate and caloric content and were elicited with beverages consumed only during exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 18(4):363‐78.

“Protein plus carbohydrates supplementation appears to prevent body mass loss, enhance thermoregulatory capacity and improve competitive exercise performance despite no effect on muscle damage.” Eur J Appl Physiol. 111(9):2051‐61.

“Carbohydrate‐protein supplementation improves competitive endurance exercise performance in the heat.” Eur J Appl Physiol. 111(9):2051‐61.

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