A new study has revealed that oral contraceptives inhibit muscle mass gains in women. Texas A&M and the University of Pittsburg, working hand in hand, studied 73 healthy women between the ages of 18-31. The women were placed into two groups, and underwent a 10 week resistance training regimen.
Group A consisted of 34 women who used oral contraceptives. Group B consisted of 39 women who did not. Women in both groups were encouraged to eat at least 0.5 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight. Both groups performed resistance training three times a week under supervision of an exercise physiologist.
The result? Group B gained significantly more muscle mass, outperforming Group A by a 60% greater increase in overall muscle mass. Strength gains were similar in both groups.
The researchers found that resting blood concentrations of anabolic hormones were significantly lower in women taking oral contraceptives. Women taking oral contraceptives also had a significantly lower level of DHEA.