Could You Benefit From A Protein Supplement? A Systematic Review

Have you ever wondered if the protein supplements you have been having are contributing to your muscle mass and strength in resistance exercise training?

A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed, including only randomised control trials that had clients performing resistance training exercises for a minimum of two days a week for at least a six-week period.

Based on the 49 studies included in the meta-analysis, results showed that healthy adults consuming dietary protein supplementation did see an increase in their muscle strength and muscle size over a prolonged period.

Although this data was found, it did also demonstrate that resistance exercise training was more successful at increasing muscle strength than the addition of dietary protein supplementation.

Fat free mass improved in the data group (0.30kg) with adequate protein paired with a consistent resistance training regime.

Although protein supplementation showed an increase in muscle mass, if consuming 1.6g/kg/day of protein already, there were no changes in muscle mass or strength.

This data demonstrates that protein supplementation can benefit an athlete if they are following a consistent resistance training program for at least two days per week, if not consuming over 1.6g/kg/day or protein.

Citation is below.

Ashleigh D’Arcy, Dietician  

Morton, R.W. et al. (2018) A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults, British Journal of Sports Medicine. Available at: (Accessed: 21 June 2023).