Our recent publication in the European Journal of Applied Physiology examines the response of anabolic hormones, namely Growth Hormone and Insulin-like Growth Factor-1, to a heavy weightlifting session during weight loss. These hormones are important because they help mediate the benefits of weightlifting including maintenance of bone mass and muscle mass. We found that weightlifting during weight loss altered the hormonal response compared to lifting on a weight stable diet. As a second question, we asked whether supplementation of post-exercise protein could normalize the hormonal response during weight loss.
However, supplementation of protein did not alter the hormonal response compared to supplementation of carbohydrate during weight loss. Thus, we learned that the hormonal response to weightlifting is altered during short-term weight loss. We also observed that post-exercise protein was insufficient to rescue that response.
Future research will need to evaluate alternative strategies for normalizing the hormonal response during weight loss to improve the ability of weightlifting exercise during weight loss to maintain bone and muscle mass.
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