Nutrition in Sport

PROTEIN AND AMINO ACID METABOLISM DURING AND AFTER EXERCISE AND THE EFFECTS OF NUTRITION Michael J. Rennie Department of Anatomy& Physiology, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 4HN, Scotland, UK., Kevin D. Tipton Division of Metabolism, Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Shriner s Burn s Hospital, Galveston Texas 77550 USA

Abstract

Sustained dynamic exercise stimulates amino acid oxidation, chiefly of the branched-chain amino acids, and ammonia production in proportion to exercise intensity; if the exercise is intense enough, there is a net loss of muscle protein (as a result of decreased protein synthesis, increased breakdown, or both); some of the amino acids are oxidized as fuel, whereas the rest provide substrates for gluconeogenesis and possibly for acid-based regulation. Protein balance is restored after exercise, but no hypertrophy occurs with habitual dynamic exercise. Resistance exercise causes little change in amino acid oxidation but probably depresses protein synthesis and elevates breakdown acutely. After exercise, protein synthesis rebounds for _48 h, but breakdown remains elevated, and net positive balance is achieved only if amino acid availability is increased. There is no evidence that habitual exercise increases protein requirements; indeed protein metabolism may become more efficient as a result of training.