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Leucine-protein supplemented recovery feeding enhances subsequent cycling performance in well-trained men

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether a practical leucine-protein, high-carbohydrate postexercise feeding regimen could improve recovery, as measured by subsequent cycling performance and mechanistic markers, relative to control feeding. In a crossover, 10 male cyclists performed 2- to 2.5-h interval training bouts on 3 consecutive evenings, ingesting either leucine-protein, high-carbohydrate nutrition (0.1/0.4/1.2/0.2 g·kg–1·h–1; leucine, protein, carbohydrate, fat, respectively) or isocaloric control (0.06/1.6/0.2 g·kg–1·h–1; protein, carbohydrate, fat, respectively) nutrition for 1.5 h postexercise. Throughout the experimental period diet was controlled, energy and macronutrient intake balanced, and protein intake clamped at 1.6 g·kg–1·day–1. The alternate supplement was provided the next morning, thereby isolating the postexercise nutrition effect. Following 39 h of recovery, cyclists performed a repeat-sprint performance test. Postexercise leucine-protein ingestion improved mean sprint power by 2.5% (99% confidence limit, ±2.6%; p = 0.013) and reduced perceived overall tiredness during the sprints by 13% (90% confidence limit, ±9.2%), but perceptions of leg tiredness and soreness were unaffected. Before exercise, creatine-kinase concentration was lowered by 19% (90% confidence limits, ±18%), but lactate dehydrogenase and pressure-pain threshold were unaltered. There was a small reduction in anger (25% ± 18%), but other moods were unchanged. Plasma leucine (3-fold) and essential amino acid (47%) concentrations were elevated postexercise. Net nitrogen balance trended mildly negative in both conditions (mean ± SD: leucine-protein, –20 ± 46 mg·kg–1 per 24 h; control, –25 ± 36 mg·kg–1 per 24 h). The ingestion of a leucine-protein supplement along with other high-carbohydrate food following intense training on consecutive days enhances subsequent high-intensity endurance performance and may attenuate muscle membrane disruption in well-trained male cyclists.
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Keywords: bilan azoté; creatine kinase; créatine kinase; humeur; lésion musculaire; mood state; muscle damage; nitrogen balance

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 13, 2011

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