Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance exercise

Elisabet Børsheim, Kevin D. Tipton, Steven E. Wolf, Robert R. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

333 Scopus citations


This study tests the hypothesis that a dose of 6 g of orally administered essential amino acids (EAAs) stimulates net muscle protein balance in healthy volunteers when consumed 1 and 2 h after resistance exercise. Subjects received a primed constant infusion of L-[2H5]phenylalanine and L-[1-13C] leucine. Samples from femoral artery and vein and biopsies from vastus lateralis were obtained. Arterial EAA concentrations increased severalfold after drinks. Net muscle protein balance (NB) increased proportionally more than arterial AA concentrations in response to drinks, and it returned rapidly to basal values when AA concentrations decreased. Area under the curve for net phenylalanine uptake above basal value was similar for the first hour after each drink (67 ± 17 vs. 77 ± 20 mg/leg, respectively). Because the NB response was double the response to two doses of a mixture of 3 g of EAA + 3 g of nonessential AA (NEAA) (14), we conclude that NEAA are not necessary for stimulation of NB and that there is a dose-dependent effect of EAA ingestion on muscle protein synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E648-E657
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4 46-4
StatePublished - Oct 2002


  • Essential amino acids
  • Muscle protein metabolism
  • Stable isotopes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Essential amino acids and muscle protein recovery from resistance exercise'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this