Adding fish oil to a whey protein and carbohydrate beverage improves eccentric-exercise recovery in soccer players


Soccer players often experience eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage. An improved muscle functional recovery from eccentric exercise has been shown with protein feeding. Since fish oil derived n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3PUFA) exhibit antiinflammatory properties, combining fish oil with protein may facilitate recovery.

Purpose: To assess the influence of 6 wk supplementation with a juice-based antioxidant-containing drink containing a combination of n-3PUFA, whey protein and vitamin D on muscle function and soreness, inflammation and soccer performance during exercise recovery.

Conclusion: A juice-based antioxidant-rich drink, containing n-3PUFA, whey protein and vitamin D, mediated a reduced feeling of muscle soreness after eccentric exercise, translating into improved soccer-specific physical performance during acute recovery. Hence, the benefit of whey protein ingestion to exercise recovery in competitive soccer players is enhanced by adding n-3PUFA and natural antioxidants to a juice-based drink.

Selected graphs:

Graph 1 – Muscle Soreness

Graph 1 - Muscle Soreness

The players using Smartfish Recharge High Protein were significantly lower on muscle soreness than players who used a protein drink and a carbohydrate drink.

Graph 2 – Yo Yo Endurance Test

Graph 2 - Yo Yo Endurance Test

After a yo yo endurance test there was an eccentric exercise which consisted of 12 sets unilateral knee extension/flexion contractions on both legs separately. Then new yo yo tests 24 and 72 hours later. The players on Smartfish Recharge High Protein performed better than the players using the protein drink and the carbohydrate drink.

Authors: Jordan D. Philpott, Chris Donnelly, Ian H. Walshe, James R. Dick, Elizabeth McKinlay, Stuart D. R. Galloway, Kevin D. Tipton and Oliver C. Witard. Health and Exercise Science Research Group, University of Stirling, Scotland.



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