Protein shakes reduce likelihood of heart disease and strokes, study finds

Eight per cent reduction in risk of suffering from heart disease and strokes thanks to consumption of whey protein, University of Reading finds

If your post-ride routine includes a swig of a protein shake, then you could be doing more good than just replenishing your muscles for a hard training session the following day, with the latest study linking the drinks with a reduced chance of heart disease and strokes.

In a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, scientists at the University of Reading analysed the effects of drinking shakes containing either whey protein, caseinate (a form of protein produced from milk), or maltodextrin (control) on 38 participants over an eight-week period.

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At the end of the trial period, participants who had consumed whey protein showed significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure, lower levels of triacylglycerol (a form of fat found in blood vessels that has been linked with heart disease), and lower levels of cholesterol compared to those who had consumed the control shakes.

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Those who had consumed the caseinate shake had reduced levels of cholesterol, but no reductions of triacyglycerol or blood pressure figures.

Overall, the study found that consuming 56g of protein per day could reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes by eight per cent.

The authors of the study say, however, that more research is needed over a longer period of time to determine a definitive link.