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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
  1. 1School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia
  2. 2Centre for Phytochemistry and Pharmacology, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW 2480, Australia
  1. Correspondence to:
 C M Shing
 School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia; cshing{at}


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 TT40 performance during an HIT period and maintained ventilatory threshold following five consecutive days of HIT.

  • CPC, colostrum protein concentrate
  • HIT, high intensity training
  • TT40, 40 km time trial
  • VT, ventilatory threshold
  • recovery
  • time to fatigue
  • time trial
  • ventilatory threshold

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  • Published Online First 6 July 2006

  • Competing interests: this work was funded in part by Numico Research Australia, Oakden, SA, Australia