A Sports Person / professional who is involved in any fast athletic sports, experiences very high level / eccentric muscle contraction, with more than one / two or more high intensity exercise sessions, within 24 hours or below 6 hours time gap. wrestling, Some Examples of these sport may be CrossFit, powerlifting or tennis. This type of contraction can lead to muscle damage and soreness. Such eccentric exercise can cause excitation contraction coupling and can make muscle fiber release pro-inflammatory cytokines that attract neutrophils and macrophages to repair the damaged tissue. Such disturbances cause muscle dysfunction and decreased performance.
While antioxidant supplements cannot reverse the inflammation cascade, they can at least prevent further worsening of muscle strength due to muscle damage. Post-exercise supplements that include protein, especially whey protein supplements, or amino acids can improve recovery from eccentric exercise. Although supplements that contain proteins or antioxidants have proved to be useful in treating muscle soreness, there are no studies that uphold the fact that a combination of both protein and antioxidant supplementation can help in muscle recovery and soreness.
Effect of protein and antioxidants on muscle recovery
The study included 60 male participants between the age group of 18-30 years. These participants were quite sedentary and did not involve themselves in physical activity more than 2-3 times every week for the sake of fitness. During the first day of testing, participants performed 100 eccentric contractions (ECC) of the knee extensors of the right leg and they were constantly encouraged during these 100 contractions. The participants were organized into 3 different groups, but no significant differences were observed for age, height and weight measures, macronutrient dietary consumption, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, sodium, calcium and iron intake between the groups.
All the 3 groups experienced muscle soreness following ECC. The primary purpose of this study was to find out whether a combination of protein and antioxidant supplements was more effective than only protein or carbohydrate control in reducing muscle soreness and function following ECC. The findings convey that: