Postexercise nutrient intake timing in humans is critical to recovery of leg glucose and protein homeostasis AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-ENDOCRINOLOGY AND METABOLISM Levenhagen, D. K., Gresham, J. D., Carlson, M. G., Maron, D. J., Borel, M. J., Flakoll, P. J. 2001; 280 (6): E982-E993


Although the importance of postexercise nutrient ingestion timing has been investigated for glycogen metabolism, little is known about similar effects for protein dynamics. Each subject (n = 10) was studied twice, with the same oral supplement (10 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat) being administered either immediately (EARLY) or 3 h (LATE) after 60 min of moderate-intensity exercise. Leg blood flow and circulating concentrations of glucose, amino acids, and insulin were similar for EARLY and LATE. Leg glucose uptake and whole body glucose utilization (D-[6,6-2H(2)]glucose) were stimulated threefold and 44%, respectively, for EARLY vs. LATE. Although essential and nonessential amino acids were taken up by the leg in EARLY, they were released in LATE. Although proteolysis was unaffected, leg (L-[ring-2H(5)]phenylalanine) and whole body (L-[1-13C]leucine) protein synthesis were elevated threefold and 12%, respectively, for EARLY vs. LATE, resulting in a net gain of leg and whole body protein. Therefore, similar to carbohydrate homeostasis, EARLY postexercise ingestion of a nutrient supplement enhances accretion of whole body and leg protein, suggesting a common mechanism of exercise-induced insulin action.

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