Rice protein, whey protein may offer the same benefits

March 13, 2013

A study presented at the 2013 Natural Products Expo shows that plant-based rice protein may have identical benefits to dairy-based whey protein. The study followed a tightly controlled population of seasoned bodybuilders and how they built muscle and experienced the same rates of repair and soreness.

For the study, the researchers used 24 healthy, college-aged, resistance-trained participants. Each had a minimum of one year of strength training experience. The participants were randomly and equally divided into two groups. Each group consumed 48 g of rice or whey protein isolate immediately following training on training days only. Participants followed a specific training protocol three times a week for eight weeks under direct supervision. The supplements contained equal amounts of calories and protein. Before and after the first training session, participants gave ratings for perceived recovery, soreness, and readiness to train. At baseline (week 0), midway (week 4), and end (week 8) participants were measured for muscle thickness, body composition, bench press and leg press strength. Changes were measured and recorded.

Results showed there were no significant differences in the ratings between the groups supplemented with rice versus whey for recovery. In other words, each supplement produced a similar effect. Moreover, both groups experienced changes in body composition, strength, and power from week 0 to week 8. Specifically, muscle mass, strength, and power increased while body fat decreased. The changes observed were similar for both groups.

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