Gender Surprises

Dr David Rowlands, a senior lecturer with the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Massey University, has found after exercise women, unlike men, showed no clear benefit from protein during recovery. Several years ago, Dr Rowlands set out to study the role of protein in recovery from hard exercise. He asked a group of male cyclists to ride intensely until their legs were aching and virtually all of their stored muscle fuel had been depleted. The men who ingested protein had an overall performance gain of more than 4 per cent, compared with the men who took only carbohydrates, “which is huge, in competitive terms,” Dr Rowlands says. Not so his latest follow-up study, which was published online in May in the journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise. The women who received protein said their legs felt more tired and sore during the intervals than did women who downed only carbohydrates. The results, he says, were “something of a surprise.”

Tags: cycling  exercise  Massey University  New York Times (The)