Colustrum has been claimed to have sports performance enhancing benefits, but it is not used very often any more. Perhaps this is due to more effective supplements now being available, or perhaps it is because colustrum never really did much at all. A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise looked at the effect of high dose colustrum supplementation in competitive cyclists.
42 competitive cyclists were divided into 3 groups. One group took 60 g colustrum daily, one group took 20 g of colustrum and 40 g of whey protein daily, and one group took 60 g whey protein daily with no colustrum. The subjects supplemented for 8 weeks while continuing their usual training. Before and after the 8 weeks of supplementation, the subjects were tested for VO2 max and also were tested on the time it took them to complete a certain time trial after they had already completed a 2 hour ride at 65% of their VO2 max. While no difference between groups was seen in VO2 max, the groups taking colustrum significantly improved their performance during the time trial, cutting several times more seconds off of their time over the 8 week period than the whey only group. No significant difference was seen between the two groups taking different doses of colustrum.
Colustrum may support certain areas of sports performance, but would likely only be of benefit to certain types of athletes. Both of the groups consuming colustrum showed a significant difference in comparison to the whey only group, but the difference between the two colustrum groups was not significant. The lack of difference between the group consuming 20 g of colustrum and the group consuming 60 g of colustrum suggests that beyond a certain point (at or less than 20 g daily) adding more colustrum does not increase its positive effects.
Coombes JS, Conacher M, Austen SK, & Marshall PA. (2002). Dose effects of oral bovine colostrum on physical work capacity in cyclists. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 34(7), 1184-8.
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