Consumption of a soy-based snack bite after intense exercise: Impact on recovery

Jenna McClure
Graduate (MS)
Yael Vodovotz
Food Science and Technology

With growing concernsinvolvinghealth and fitness, demand for products that enhance performance and aid recovery have increased. High intensity exercise can lead to muscle damage (EIMD), causing strength loss and inflammation. Soy has proven to reduce inflammation. The current market is saturated with protein bars and shakes, but lack variation. In response, our lab developed a soy soft pretzel (SSP) containing optimal nutritional quality for exercise recovery. Preliminary studies assessed SSP’s sensory acceptability and satiety capabilities. Future work will evaluate the SSP’s ability to impact soreness and inflammatory markers.

Objective/Hypothesis: The objective is to assess the effectiveness of SSPin mitigating EIMD symptomsand inflammatory response. Due to components found in whole soy products, it is hypothesized that consuming SSP after exercise will reduce muscle soreness and inflammatory markers. Methods: Ten male athletes will complete a double-blind crossover study andwill be randomly assigned the study agent or placebo. Soreness will be assessed using a visual analog scale. Blood serum will be analyzed for biomarkers associated with inflammation and EIMD. A 24-hour urine sample collection will determine presence of isoflavones and assess compliance.

Results: Preliminary sensory and satiety results found the SSP had comparable acceptability to the wheat control and was significantly more filling. The results of the clinical study are notcomplete but we have IRB approval and three participants in progress. We predict that the bioactive components in soy will result in expedited muscle recovery, therefore, faster reduction in muscle soreness. We also predict less of an increase in inflammatory blood biomarkers and more of an increase in those biomarkers associated with protein synthesis and muscle growth. Finally, we predict higher concentrations of the urinary isoflavones following soy consumption when compared to wheat.

Conclusions: High intensity exercise can lead to EIMD and decline in performance. Past studies showed protein combined with carbohydrates, antioxidants or both aided EIMD. Sensory and satiety prove vitalin choosing post-exercise consumption. Our prediction is that SSPwill alleviate symptoms ofEIMD and increase muscle recovery.

Acknowledgments: Thanks toThe Ohio Soybean Council for funding.