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Front Nutr. 2019 Apr 30;6:55. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00055. eCollection 2019.

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

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Department of Kinesiology, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, Canada.
School of Kinesiology and Health Science, Faculty of Health, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Centre for Bone and Muscle Health, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Brock University, St. Catharines, ON, 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 the context of a RT program. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of GY consumption plus RT on strength, muscle thickness and body composition in lean, untrained, university-aged males. Thirty untrained, university-aged (20.6 ± 2.2 years) males 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 3 days/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 results of our study, the general 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.


Greek yogurt; body composition; intervention study; muscle thickness; muscular strength; protein nutrition; resistance training program; young males

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