Protein synthesis has been one of the most talked about areas of sports nutrition over the last few years – specifically, how to maximally stimulate protein synthesis post-training. One of the main roles of protein post-training is to stimulate protein synthesis, and recent research has focussed on the important role leucine plays on stimulating the mTOR pathway. However, research on the optimal combination of protein and leucine has been limited.
A recent study was conducted looking at the effects of consuming varying amount of protein and leucine on protein synthesis.
Rowlands et al (2014) analysed 3 different beverages and their effects on muscle protein synthesis following a high intensity cycle protocol. The beverages contained varying amounts of protein / leucine / carbohydrate / fat:
– Beverage 1 – 70g protein / 15g leucine / 180g carbohydrate / 30g fat
– Beverage 2 – 23g protein / 5g leucine / 180g carbohydrate / 30g fat
– Beverage 3 – 0g protein / 0g leucine / 274g carbohydrate / 30g fat
Results indicated that the group consuming 23g of protein with 5g of added leucine (beverage 2) had near maximal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis.
Tripling the amount of protein and added leucine (beverage 1) was shown to negligibly increase muscle protein synthesis stimulation (13 % ± 12%).
Therefore 23g of protein and 5g of leucine appears to be the most effective amount of leucine to consume to cause near maximal stimulation of muscle protein synthesis.
INFORMED WHEY™ after a workout
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Rowlands et al (2014) Protein-Leucine Fed Dose Effects on Muscle Protein Synthesis after Endurance Exercise, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, July 2014