Milk protein consumption improves muscle performance and total antioxidant status in young soccer athletes: a randomized controlled trial

  • Muhammad Irwan Setiawan Master Program for Nutrition Science, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang, Indonesia
  • Hardhono Susanto Department of Anatomy and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang, Indonesia
  • Martha Irene Kartasurya Department of Public Health Nutrition, Faculty of Public Health, Universitas Diponegoro, Semarang, Indonesia
Keywords: milk proteins, muscles, soccer
Abstract viewed: 1050 times
PDF downloaded: 736 times
HTML downloaded: 74 times
EPUB downloaded: 141 times


BACKGROUND Muscle performance and antioxidant balance are closely related to an athlete achievement. Milk proteins (whey and casein) contain essential and non-essential amino acids, which benefit muscle performance through increased antioxidant levels. This study was aimed to evaluate the effects of milk protein on muscle performance and total antioxidant status (TAS) in soccer athletes.

METHODS A randomized controlled trial was conducted on 20 males 16- to 18-year-old athletes at the Central Java Soccer Club in January 2018. For 28 days, the treatment group received 24 g/d of milk protein and the control group received 24 g/d of maltodextrin. Muscle performance was measured through a 20-m sprint, shuttle run, Illinois run, standing broad jump, sit-ups, push-ups, sit-and-reach test, and one-repetition maximum (1RM) leg extension. TAS was analyzed using the 2,2-azino-bis-3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid (ABTS) method.

RESULTS The treatment group had a decreased shuttle run time (-0.16 [0.11] versus 0.08 [0.14] sec), greater increase in sit-ups (6.80 [2.57] versus 1.10 [2.84] times/60 sec), greater increase in push-ups (2.40 [1.78] versus 0.30 [1.77] times/60 sec), and greater increase in 1RM leg extension (32.00 [13.78] versus 3.50 [13.75] kg). After adjustments for age, energy intake, carbohydrates, and pre-interventional performance, these parameters remained significantly improved after the intervention of milk protein. The TAS increase was greater in the treatment group than in the control group (0.36 [0.32] versus -0.12 [0.20] mmol/l) before and after adjustment for age, vitamin C, iron, selenium intake, and TAS pre-treatment.

CONCLUSIONS Milk protein supplementation for 28 days increased muscle performance and TAS.


  1. Seabra A, Katzmarzyk P, Carvalho MJ, Seabra A, Coelho-E-Silva M, Abreu S, et al. Effects of 6-month soccer and traditional physical activity programmes on body composition, cardiometabolic risk factors, inflammatory, oxidative stress markers and cardiorespiratory fitness in obese boys. J Sports Sci. 2016;34(19):1822-9.

  2. Russell M, Sparkes W, Northeast J, Cook CJ, Bracken RM, Kilduff LP. Relationships between match activities and peak power output and creatine kinase responses to professional reserve team soccer match-play. Hum Mov Sci. 2016;45:96-101.

  3. Bompa T, Buzzichelli C. Periodization training for sports. 3rd ed. Champaign: Human Kinetics; 2015. p. 7-9.

  4. Peñailillo L, Espíldora F, Jannas-Vela S, Mujika I, Zbinden-Foncea H. Muscle strength and speed performance in youth soccer players. J Hum Kinet. 2016;50:203–10.

  5. Svensson K, Alricsson M, Karnebäck G, Magounakis T, Werner S. Muscle injuries of the lower extremity: a comparison between young and old male elite soccer players. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2016;24(7):2293-9.

  6. Mello R, Mello R, Gomes D, Paz GA, Nasser I, Miranda H, et al. Oxidative stress and antioxidant biomarker responses after a moderate-intensity soccer training session. Res Sports Med. 2017;25(3)322-32.

  7. Perrea A, Vlachos IS, Korou LM, Doulamis IP, Exarhopoulou K, Kypraios G, et al. Comparison of the short-term oxidative stress response in national league basketball and soccer adolescent athletes. Angiology. 2014;65(7):624-9.

  8. Vieillevoye S, Poortmans JR, Duchateau J, Carpentier A. Effects of a combined essential amino acids/carbohydrate supplementation on muscle mass, architecture and maximal strength following heavy-load training. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010;110(3):479-88.

  9. Wilborn CD, Outlaw JJ, Mumford PW, Urbina SL, Hayward S, Roberts MD, et al. A pilot study examining the effects of 8-week whey protein versus whey protein plus creatine supplementation on body composition and performance variables in resistance-trained women. Ann Nutr Metab. 2016;69(3-4):190-9.

  10. Naclerio F, Seijo-Bujia M, Larumbe-Zabala E, Earnest CP. Carbohydrates alone or mixing with beef or whey protein promote similar training outcomes in resistance training males: a double-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2017;27(5):408-20.

  11. West DWD, Abou Sawan S, Mazzulla M, Williamson E, Moore DR. Whey protein supplementation enhances whole body protein metabolism and performance recovery after resistance exercise: a double-blind crossover study. Nutrients. 2017;9(7):735.

  12. Pasiakos SM, Lieberman HR, McLellan TM. Effects of protein supplements on muscle damage, soreness and recovery of muscle function and physical performance: a systematic review. Sport Med. 2014;44(5):655-70.

  13. Cruzat VF, Krause M, Newsholme P. Amino acid supplementation and impact on immune function in the context of exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014;11:61.

  14. Deth R, Clarke A, Ni J, Trivedi M. Clinical evaluation of glutathione concentrations after consumption of milk containing different subtypes of β-casein: results from a randomized, cross-over clinical trial. Nutr J. 2016;15:82.

  15. Gibson RS. Principles of nutritional assessment. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press; 2005.

  16. Simri U, Wingate M. Proceedings of the ACSPFT and the ICSPFT - 1972: Wingate Institute, August 1972, Deutsche Sporthochschule Cologne, August 1972. In: Proceedings of the ACSPFT and the ICSPFT - 1972: Wingate Institute, August 1972, Deutsche Sporthochschule Cologne, August 1972. [Netanya, Israel]: Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport with the support of the Sport and Physical Education Authority in the Israeli Ministry of Education and Culture; 1972.

  17. Ascensão A, Rebelo A, Oliveira E, Marques F, Pereira L, Magalhães J. Biochemical impact of a soccer match - analysis of oxidative stress and muscle damage markers throughout recovery. Clin Biochem. 2008;41(10–11):841–51.

  18. Fitriana WD, Fatmawati S, Ersam T. Uji aktivitas antioksidan terhadap DPPH dan ABTS dari fraksi-fraksi daun kelor (Moringa oleifera). Simposium Nasional Inovasi dan Pembelajaran Sains. Bandung; 2015. p. 657-60. Indonesian.

  19. Wilborn CD, Taylor LW, Outlaw J, Williams L, Campbell B, Foster CA, et al. The effects of pre- and post-exercise whey vs. casein protein consumption on body composition and performance measures in collegiate female athletes. J Sport Sci Med. 2013;12(1):74-9.

  20. Taylor LW, Wilborn C, Roberts MD, White A, Dugan K. Eight weeks of pre-and postexercise whey protein supplementation increases lean body mass and improves performance in Division III collegiate female basketball players. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2015;41(3):249-54.

  21. Buckley JD, Thomson RL, Coates AM, Howe PR, DeNichilo MO, Rowney MK. Supplementation with a whey protein hydrolysate enhances recovery of muscle force-generating capacity following eccentric exercise. J Sci Med Sport. 2010;13(1):178-81.

  22. Cooke MB, Rybalka E, Stathis CG, Cribb PJ, Hayes A. Whey protein isolate attenuates strength decline after eccentrically-induced muscle damage in healthy individuals. J Int Soc Sport Nutr. 2010;7:30.

  23. Lollo PCB, Amaya-Farfan J, Faria IC, Salgado JVV, Chacon-Mikahil MPT, Cruz AG, et al. Hydrolysed whey protein reduces muscle damage markers in Brazilian elite soccer players compared with whey protein and maltodextrin. A twelve-week in-championship intervention. Int Dairy J. 2014;34(1):19-24.

  24. Baar K. Nutrition and the molecular response to strength training. Sport Sci Exch. 2014;27(123):1-4.

  25. Mitchell CJ, Churchward-Venne TA, West DWD, Burd NA, Breen L, Baker SK, et al. Resistance exercise load does not determine training-mediated hypertrophic gains in young men. J Appl Physiol. 2012;113(1):71-7.

  26. Smith JW, Jeukendrup A. Performance nutrition for young athletes. In: Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance. London: Elsevier; 2014. p. 523-9.

  27. Bosse JD, Dixon BM. Dietary protein to maximize resistance training: a review and examination of protein spread and change theories. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012;9(1):42.

  28. Lobo V, Patil A, Phatak A, Chandra N. Free radicals, antioxidants and functional foods: impact on human health. Pharmacogn Rev. 2010;4(8):118-26.

How to Cite
Setiawan MI, Susanto H, Kartasurya MI. Milk protein consumption improves muscle performance and total antioxidant status in young soccer athletes: a randomized controlled trial. Med J Indones [Internet]. 2020Jul.1 [cited 2022Dec.6];29(2):164-71. Available from:
Clinical Research