Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2019) 18, 471 - 478

Research article
Effects of Blood Flow Restriction Training with Protein Supplementation on Muscle Mass And Strength in Older Men
Christoph Centner1, , Denise Zdzieblik1, Llion Roberts2, Albert Gollhofer1, Daniel König1
Author Information
1 Department of Sport and Sport Science, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
2 School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia

Christoph Centner
✉ Department of Sport and Sport Science, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
Publish Date
Received: 28-02-2019
Accepted: 22-05-2019
Published (online): 01-08-2019
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Blood flow restriction (BFR) training has been shown to induce favorable changes in muscle mass and strength with a considerably low training load (20 – 30% 1RM). However, it has never been evaluated if an additional post-exercise protein supplementation enhances the effects of this training regimen. Thirty healthy older men (60.1 ± 7.6 years) were enrolled in the 8-week intervention and randomly allocated to one of the following groups: low-load BFR training with protein (collagen hydrolysate) supplementation (BFR-CH), low-load BFR training with placebo (BFR-PLA), or a control group without training, but with protein supplementation (CON). Muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), muscle strength, circulating reactive oxygen species and IGF-1 were measured before and after the intervention. Muscle CSA increased in both BFR-CH and BFR-PLA groups by 6.7 ± 3.2 % (p < 0.001) and 5.7 ± 2.7 % (p < 0.001) respectively. No significant changes were observed in the CON group (1.1 ± 1.7 %, p = 0.124). Evaluation of isometric strength (p = 0.247), insulin-like growth factor 1 (p = 0.705) and the production of reactive oxygen species (pt1 = 0.229; pt2 = 0.741) revealed no significant interaction effect but a significant long-term time effect (p < 0.001). Our results demonstrate that BFR training is an effective alternative for increasing muscle CSA in older men. Although there was a trend towards greater muscle mass adaptations in the BFR-CH group, these findings showed no statistical significance. Further research with larger sample sizes is needed to confirm these results.

Key words: Blood flow restriction, sarcopenia, protein supplementation, muscular hypertrophy, magnetic resonance imaging, aging

           Key Points
  • Blood flow restriction training is an effective training strategy for increasing muscle adaptations in older people.
  • The addition of collagen hydrolysate demonstrated a positive trend towards higher increases in muscle mass and strength but did not reach statistical significance.
  • Further studies are needed to verify these effects with bigger sample sizes.
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