Many studies on the benefits of bovine colostrum for athletes suggest that it enhances athletic performance, increases maximal endurance performance, improves digestion, increases absorption of nutrients, and improves immune system functions that are usually compromised after increased physical activity. Recent studies have also shown the role of colostrum in decreasing body fat, increasing energy, and increasing lean body mass.
A lot of research is being done on the use of bovine colostrum as a bodybuilding supplement. Bodybuilding supplements containing bovine colostrum have also been found to reduce levels of creatine kinase in the blood. Creatine kinase is an enzyme released by damaged muscle cells after excessive exercise and intense bodybuilding. Studies suggest that bodybuilding supplements with bovine colostrum may reduce the severity of muscular trauma usually associated with intense exercise.
Aside from the breakdown of muscles, intense bodybuilding can lead to gut disorders due to increased leakiness, which leads to symptoms like diarrhea. Research led by Ray Playford, Professor of Medicine at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, showed that bovine colostrum may help athletes perform better by controlling gut permeability related to heavy exercise in athletes.
Other studies have shown that bovine colostrum also shortens recovery time and accelerates the healing of injuries in athletes and bodybuilders.
In all of these studies, it’s important to note that testosterone levels did not increase, making it an incredible supplement for women too!
How Bovine Colostrum Works
Colostrum from cows is almost identical to human colostrum and is widely used as a nutritional supplement. Because it is widely available, bovine colostrum is believed to improve athletic performance, increase immune defenses and is also used as a bodybuilding supplement.
Bovine colostrum has been found to contain many important components including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, growth factors, lactoferrin, immunoglobins, cytokines, and proline-rich polypeptides. Studies have shown that bovine colostrum is a natural source of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is involved in muscle regeneration, tendon healing, and collagen production. It also contains other growth factors like the platelet-derived growth factor, growth hormone, transforming growth factors, and fibroblast growth factor, which are important in various repair and regeneration functions.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that supplementation with bovine colostrum for four weeks improved the immune function of active men who experienced a depression of immune function after intense exercise. The regular intake of colostrum improved the rate of recovery of neutrophil (immune cells) function after intense exercise induced immunodepression, and reduced alterations in lysozyme (salivary enzyme) concentration and secretion rates.
Why 100% Natural is important
While colostrum is legal it’s interesting to note that it is banned by the MLB for professional baseball players. Why? Because it naturally increases growth hormones (hence the athletic recovery and lean muscle growth) so much that drug testers can’t distinguish it against synthetic growth hormones! As always, if you are an elite athlete and under drug tests, it’s best to speak with your drug testing sponsor.
Fletcher, D. Benefits of colostrum supplements in bodybuilding. Biolife.
Buhmeyer, J. Colostrum and Athletic Performance. CNR.
Queen Mary, University of London. Is dairy colostrum the key to Olympic success? ScienceDaily.
Daniells, S. Colostrum may boost immune function after exercise. CNR.
Impact of differing protein sources and a creatine containing nutritional formula after 12 weeks of resistance training: http://www.nutritionjrnl.com/article/S0899-9007%2807%2900184-0/abstract
Bovine colostrum supplementation during endurance running training improves recovery, but not performance: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12188088?dopt=Abstract
Dose effects of oral bovine colostrum on physical work capacity in cyclists: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12131260?dopt=Abstract