Colostrum is a hot supplement in the athletics world, according to Dr. Louise Burke, the Head of Nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
Recent research shows that bovine colostrum supplementation can improve performance in activities requiring both strength and endurance.
A study by Buckley and his research team at the University of South Australia (1999) examined a group of eight elite female rowers. In this study, the women consumed either bovine colostrum (60g/day) or a whey protein powder (placebo). The colostrum-supplemented group performed significantly greater in terms of distance covered and work performed during a 4-minute maximal rowing effort.
Another study by Buckley (2003) compared the effect of bovine colostrum supplementation to whey protein powder on 51 male athletes, and found that colostrum supplementation during training significantly increased peak anaerobic power.
A study from the University of Tasmania, Australia (2002) has reported that eight weeks of colostrum supplementation resulted in an improvement in cycling performance. These findings were presented at the Pre-Olympic Sports Medicine Conference in Brisbane (Coombs et al., 2000). Compared to their initial performance eight weeks earlier, the group taking 20 grams of colostrum per day completed the time trial 158 seconds faster whereas the group taking whey protein improved their performance time by only 37 seconds.
Researchers at Numico Research in the Netherlands (2002) confirm that colostrum supplementation improves sport performance better than whey protein. A double-blind, placebo controlled study using 35 elite field hockey players, including players from the Dutch national team, showed that highly trained athletes supplemented with colostrum can achieve enhanced performance. The hockey players taking colostrum improved sprint performance significantly better than the whey group.
A study in Finland showed an increase in physical performance during maximal exercise with colostrum supplementation. Colostrum supplementation promoted greater oxygen uptake and flight times during squat jump exercises. Therefore such supplementation can improve running and jumping performance.
Similar results were found in a study which measured vertical jump performance. After 8 weeks of training with 60 grams of colostrum supplementation per day, vertical jump performance increased more than twice as much as those in the control group while serum IGF-1 levels remained the same for both groups.
The Australian Olympic team proved the effectiveness of colostrum supplementation when they won 16 gold and 58 overall medals at the 2000 Olympic.