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Is the glucose/amino acid supplementation after exercise an aid to strength training?

Williams, Alun G. and van den Oord, M. and Sharma, Anita and Jones, David A. (2001) Is the glucose/amino acid supplementation after exercise an aid to strength training? British journal of sports medicine, 35 (2). pp. 109-113. ISSN 0306-3674

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Abstract

Background: The precise timing of carbohydrate and amino acid ingestion relative to a bout of resistance exercise may modulate the training effect of the resistance exercise. Objective: To assess whether regular glucose/amino acid supplementation immediately after resistance exercise could enhance the gain in muscle strength brought about by resistance training. Methods: Seven untrained participants with a median age of 23 years and mean (SD) body mass 68.9 (13.5) kg resistance trained on a leg extension machine for five days a week for 10 weeks, using four sets of 10 repetitions. Alternate legs were trained on successive days, one leg each day. Subjects ingested either a supplement including 0.8 g glucose/kg and 0.2 g amino acids/kg, or placebo, on alternate training days immediately after training. Therefore the supplement was always ingested after training the same leg (supplement leg). Isometric, isokinetic, and 1 repetition maximum (RM) strength were measured before, during, and after training. Blood samples were analysed to determine the acute responses of insulin and glucose to resistance exercise and supplementation or placebo. Results: Serum insulin concentration peaked 20 minutes after supplement ingestion at ninefold the placebo level, and remained significantly elevated for at least 80 minutes (p<0.01). Isometric, isokinetic, and 1 RM strength improved on both supplement and placebo legs (p<0.05). There were no significant differences in the gain in strength between the supplement leg and the placebo leg (p>0.05). Conclusion: Regular glucose/amino acid supplementation immediately after resistance exercise is unlikely to enhance the gain in muscle strength brought about by resistance training.

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