OBJECTIVE: To determine the effects of multi-ingredient protein (MIP) supplements on resistance exercise training (RT)-induced gains in muscle mass and strength compared with protein-only (PRO) or placebo supplementation.
DATA SOURCES: Systematic search of MEDLINE, Embase, CINAHL and SPORTDiscus.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Randomised controlled trials with interventions including RT ≥6 weeks in duration and a MIP supplement.
DESIGN: Random effects meta-analyses were conducted to determine the effect of supplementation on fat-free mass (FFM), fat mass, one-repetition maximum (1RM) upper body and 1RM lower body muscular strength. Subgroup analyses compared the efficacy of MIP supplementation relative to training status and chronological age.
RESULTS: The most common MIP supplements included protein with creatine (n=17) or vitamin D (n=10). Data from 35 trials with 1387 participants showed significant (p<0.05) increases in FFM (0.80 kg (95% CI 0.44 to 1.15)), 1RM lower body (4.22 kg (95% CI 0.79 to 7.64)) and 1RM upper body (2.56 kg (95% CI 0.79 to 4.33)) where a supplement was compared with all non-MIP supplemented conditions (means (95% CI)). Subgroup analyses indicated a greater effect of MIP supplements compared with all non-MIP supplements on FFM in untrained (0.95 kg (95% CI 0.51 to 1.39), p<0.0001) and older participants (0.77 kg (95% CI 0.11 to 1.43), p=0.02); taking MIP supplements was also associated with gains in 1RM upper body (1.56 kg (95% CI 0.80 to 2.33), p=0.01) in older adults.
SUMMARY/CONCLUSIONS: When MIP supplements were combined with resistance exercise training, there were greater gains in FFM and strength in healthy adults than in counterparts who were supplemented with non-MIP. MIP supplements were not superior when directly compared with PRO supplements. The magnitude of effect of MIP supplements was greater (in absolute values) in untrained and elderly individuals undertaking RT than it was in trained individuals and in younger people.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: CRD42017081970.