Women Benefit from a Protein Hydrolysate During Carb-Restricted Training, Men Do Not

While most nutrition guidelines for athletes are based on research for men, a recent study shows that consuming protein supplement, specifically protein hydrolysate, during carbohydrate-restricted training is helpful for improving training intensity in women, but not in men. Read on for more on protein hydrolysate during carbohydrate-restricted training.

This new research will be part of a presentation at The Physiological Society’s Annual Conference Physiology 2021, July 12 – July 16, 2021.

First author, Dr Tanja Oosthuyse and her colleagues, emphasizes that women’s unique training needs should always be considered because in nutritional research findings what applies to men don’t always apply to women.

protein hydrolysate during carbohydrate-restricted training

While the protein supplement helped training intensity in women, it did not improve training intensity and instead resulted in modest negative effect in men. It made exercise feel harder for them because their bodies were working harder to break down the supplement, as compared to when they were drinking just plain water.

Research Results for Protein Hydrolysate During Carbohydrate-restricted Training

“The application of the findings from our study are purely for the specialized training tactic of overnight fasted carbohydrate-restricted exercise which is done to enhance training,” said Dr. Oosthuyse

“Racing nutrition, however, is very different and at the moment guidelines are standard for both men and women. We need to specify potential differences so that both men and women can train and race at the highest possible calibre,” she says.

  • The conclusion from this research is that women should ingest protein supplements during fasted carbohydrate-restricted exercise,
  • Men should be aware that it will increase their perception of effort.
  • Future studies need to determine whether ingesting protein hydrolysate supplements during carbohydrate-restricted training over a longer time frame of weeks or months will be beneficial.

In this study, the researchers did not consider menstrual phase. Follow up studies are needed to determine whether the improved training intensity when ingesting a protein hydrolysate compared with placebo-water is specific to menstrual phase.


This year, Physiology 2021 will be an innovative online event, with hundreds of fellow physiologists from around the world. The conference is from 12 – 16 July, 2021. Members of The Physiological Society receive a reduced registration rate. Click here for more.

“Physiology 2021 is an incredibly important conference for all physiologists. The online platform makes it really easy to network with colleagues from across the world. After what has been a tough period for us all, I’m looking forward with pleasure to the community coming together.” – Dr Sue Deuchars, Chair of Conferences Committee & Director of Research, School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Leeds, UK