Leg glucose and protein metabolism during an acute bout of resistance exercise in humans

William J. Durham, Sharon L. Miller, Catherine W. Yeckel, David L. Chinkes, Kevin D. Tipton, Blake B. Rasmussen, Robert R. Wolfe

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23 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the responses of leg glucose and protein metabolism during an acute bout of resistance exercise. Seven subjects (5 men, 2 women) were studied at rest and during a strenuous lower body resistance exercise regimen consisting of ∼8 sets of 10 repetitions of leg press at ∼75% 1 repetition maximum and 8 sets of 8 repetitions of knee extensions at ∼80% 1 repetition maximum. L-[ring-2H5]phenylalanine was infused throughout the study for measurement of phenylalanine rates of appearance, disappearance, protein synthesis, and protein breakdown across the leg. Femoral arterial and venous blood samples were collected at rest and during exercise for determination of leg blood flow, concentrations of glucose, lactate, alanine, glutamine, glutamate, leucine, and phenylalanine, and phenylalanine enrichments. Muscle biopsies were obtained at rest and immediately after exercise. Leg blood flow was nearly three times (P < 0.009) higher and glucose uptake more than five times higher (P = 0.009) during exercise than at rest. Leg lactate release was 86 times higher than rest during the exercise bout. Although whole body phenylalanine rate of appearance, an indicator of whole body protein breakdown, was reduced during exercise; leg phenylalanine rate of appearance, rate of disappearance, protein synthesis, and protein breakdown did not change. Arterial and venous alanine concentrations and glutamate uptake were significantly higher during exercise than at rest. We conclude that lower body resistance exercise potently stimulates leg glucose uptake and lactate release. In addition, muscle protein synthesis is not elevated during a bout of resistance exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1379-1386
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2004



  • Rate of appearance
  • Rate of disappearance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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