The influence of bovine colostrum supplementation on exercise performance in highly trained cyclists

  1. C M Shing1,
  2. D G Jenkins1,
  3. L Stevenson2,
  4. J S Coombes1

+Author Affiliation

Centre for Phytochemistry and Pharmacology, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia

Correspondence to:

C M Shing
 School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia;

  • Accepted 22 June 2006
  • Published Online First 6 July 2006


Purpose: The aim of this experiment was to investigate the influence of low dose bovine colostrum supplementation on exercise performance in cyclists over a 10 week period that included 5 days of high intensity training (HIT).

Methods: Over 7 days of preliminary testing, 29 highly trained male road cyclists completed a VO2max test (in which their ventilatory threshold was estimated), a time to fatigue test at 110% of ventilatory threshold, and a 40 km time trial (TT40). Cyclists were then assigned to either a supplement (n = 14, 10 g/day bovine colostrum protein concentrate (CPC)) or a placebo group (n = 15, 10 g/day whey protein) and resumed their normal training. Following 5 weeks of supplementation, the cyclists returned to the laboratory to complete a second series of performance testing (week 7). They then underwent five consecutive days of HIT (week 8) followed by a further series of performance tests (week 9).

Results: The influence of bovine CPC on TT40 performance during normal training was unclear (week 7: 1±3.1%, week 9: 0.1±2.1%; mean±90% confidence limits). However, at the end of the HIT period, bovine CPC supplementation, compared to the placebo, elicited a 1.9±2.2% improvement from baseline in TT40 performance and a 2.3±6.0% increase in time trial intensity (% VO2max), and maintained TT40 heart rate (2.5±3.7%). In addition, bovine CPC supplementation prevented a decrease in ventilatory threshold following the HIT period (4.6±4.6%).

Conclusion: Low dose bovine CPC supplementation elicited improvements in TT40performance during an HIT period and maintained ventilatory threshold following five consecutive days of HIT.

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