Essential amino acid and carbohydrate ingestion before resistance exercise does not enhance postexercise muscle protein synthesis

Satoshi Fujita, Hans C. Dreyer, Micah J. Drummond, Erin L. Glynn, Elena Volpi, Blake Rasmussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Scopus citations


Ingestion of an essential amino acid-carbohydrate (EAA + CHO) solution following resistance exercise enhances muscle protein synthesis during postexercise recovery. It is unclear whether EAA + CHO ingestion before resistance exercise can improve direct measures of postexercise muscle protein synthesis (fractional synthetic rate; FSR). We hypothesized that EAA + CHO ingestion before a bout of resistance exercise would prevent the exercise-induced decrease in muscle FSR and would result in an enhanced rate of muscle FSR during postexercise recovery. We studied 22 young healthy subjects before, during, and for 2 h following a bout of high-intensity leg resistance exercise. The fasting control group (n = 11) did not ingest nutrients, and the EAA + CHO group (n = 11) ingested a solution of EAA + CHO 1 h before beginning the exercise bout. Stable isotopic methods were used in combination with muscle biopsies to determine FSR. Immunoblotting procedures were utilized to assess cell signaling proteins associated with the regulation of FSR. We found that muscle FSR increased in the EAA + CHO group immediately following EAA + CHO ingestion (P < 0.05), returned to basal values during exercise, and remained unchanged at 1 h postexercise. Muscle FSR decreased in the fasting group during exercise and increased at 1 h postexercise (P < 0.05). However, the 2 h postexercise FSR increased by ∼50% in both groups with no differences between groups (P > 0.05). Eukaryotic elongation factor 2 phosphorylation was reduced in both groups at 2 h postexercise (EAA + CHO: 39 ± 7%; fasting: 47 ± 9%; P < 0.05). We conclude that EAA + CHO ingestion before resistance exercise does not enhance postexercise FSR compared with exercise without nutrients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1730-1739
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009



  • Essential amino acids
  • Human muscle protein synthesis
  • Leucine
  • Protein metabolism
  • Resistance exercise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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