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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2010 Oct;35(5):583-90. doi: 10.1139/H10-047.

Protein consumption following aerobic exercise increases whole-body protein turnover in older adults.

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Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


Research measuring whole-body protein turnover (WBPT) after both exercise and nutrition has generally focused on resistance exercise; however, there is a paucity of data regarding the effect of postaerobic exercise nutrition, especially in older adults. It is not known if postexercise protein feeding has a beneficial effect on protein turnover after low- to moderate-intensity exercise. We investigated whether consuming protein plus carbohydrate (PRO) immediately after an acute bout of aerobic exercise has an additive effect over carbohydrate alone (CHO) on WBPT in older individuals. Twelve healthy older adults (age, 59 ± 4 years) were studied on 2 separate occasions after 1 h of exercise at approximately 50% of maximal rate of oxygen uptake, followed by 4 h of recovery. Immediately following exercise, subjects ingested a CHO (60 g) or an isocaloric PRO beverage (40 g carbohydrate, 20 g whey protein). Whole-body protein metabolism was determined using [1-13C]leucine infusion (60 mg prime; 75 mgh(-1) continuous), and sampling blood and expired breath. Rates of whole-body leucine appearance and oxidation, and nonoxidative leucine disposal during the third and fourth hours of postexercise recovery were higher in the PRO group (2.51 ± 0.55, 0.78 ± 0.37, and 1.71 ± 0.44 micromol kg(-1)·min(-1), respectively) than in the CHO group (1.81 ± 0.27, 0.33 ± 0.14, and 1.47 ± 0.25 micromol kg(-1)·min-1, respectively; p = 0.001). Our results indicate that consumption of a PRO beverage after aerobic exercise increased WBPT to a greater extent than a CHO beverage.

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