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Front. Nutr. | doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00055

Greek Yogurt and 12 Weeks of Exercise Training on Strength, Muscle Thickness and Body Composition in Untrained, University-Aged Males

 Aaron Bridge1, Joseph Brown1, Hayden Snider2, Matthew Nasato1,  Wendy E. Ward1,  Brian D. Roy1 and  Andrea R. Josse1, 2*
  • 1Brock University, Canada
  • 2York University, Canada

Milk and/or whey protein plus resistance exercise (RT) increase strength and muscle size and optimize body composition in adult males and females. Greek yogurt (GY) contains similar muscle-supporting nutrients as milk yet it is different in several ways including being a semi-solid food, containing bacterial cultures and having a higher protein content (mostly casein) per serving. GY has yet to be investigated in this context. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of GY consumption plus RT on strength, muscle thickness and body composition in untrained, university-aged males. Thirty males (20.6 ± 2.2 years) were randomized to 2 groups (n=15/group): fat-free, plain GY or a Placebo Pudding (PP; isoenergetic carbohydrate-based pudding), and underwent a combined RT/plyometric training program 3days/week for 12 weeks. They consumed either GY (20 g protein/dose) or PP (0 g protein/dose) daily, 3 times on training days and 2 times on non-training days. After 12 weeks, both groups significantly increased strength, muscle thickness and fat-free mass (FFM) (p<0.05). The GY group gained more total strength (GY; 98±37 kg, PP; 57±15 kg), more biceps brachii muscular thickness (GY; 0.46±0.3 cm, PP; 0.12±0.2 cm), more FFM (GY; 2.4±1.5 kg, PP; 1.3±1.3 kg) and reduced % body fat (GY; -1.1±2.2 %, PP; 0.1±2.6 %) than PP group (p<0.05 expressed as absolute change). Thus, consumption of GY during a training program resulted in improved strength, muscle thickness and body composition over a carbohydrate-based placebo. Given the benefits of consuming GY and its distinctiveness from milk, GY can be a plausible, post-exercise, nutrient-rich alternative for positive strength, muscle and body composition adaptations.

Keywords: Greek yogurt, Muscular strength, Body Composition, Young males, Muscle thickness, Protein nutrition, intervention study, resistance training program

Received: 10 Feb 2019; Accepted: 10 Apr 2019.

Edited by:

Daniel Moore, University of Toronto, Canada

Reviewed by:

Paul T. Reidy, The University of Utah, United States
Leigh Breen, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom  

Copyright: © 2019 Bridge, Brown, Snider, Nasato, Ward, Roy and Josse. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Andrea R. Josse, York University, Toronto, M3J 1P3, Ontario, Canada, ajosse@yorku.ca