Researchers at Edinburgh Napier University want to find out whether drinking the milk produced by cows in the 48 hours after giving birth could protect athletes' lungs from the effects of air pollution.
Known as bovine colostrum, the early-milk rich in antioxidants can aid gut problems such as diarrhoea and boost athletic performance.
It is hoped it could be used to assist athletes in the 2016 Games in Rio - a city known for air pollution.
Dr Elisa Gomes, who is leading the study, said: "We are testing competitive cyclists, who will be given bovine colostrum every day for two weeks. We'll then monitor their performance as they cycle in a special environmental chamber which is able to replicate the hot, humid and ozone-polluted environment athletes will face in Rio.We'll also be looking to see whether it can reduce the athletes' lung inflammation and tiredness during performance or speed up the post-exercise recovery process."