Acute Quark Ingestion Increases Muscle Protein Synthesis Rates at Rest with a Further Increase after Exercise in Young and Older Adult Males in a Parallel-Group Intervention Trial

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BACKGROUND: Ingestion of protein concentrates or isolates increases muscle protein synthesis rates in young and older adults. There is far less information available on the anabolic response following the ingestion of dairy wholefoods, which are commonly consumed in a normal diet.

OBJECTIVES: This study investigates whether ingestion of 30 g protein provided as quark increases muscle protein synthesis rates at rest and whether muscle protein synthesis rates are further increased after resistance exercise in young and older adult males.

METHODS: In this parallel-group intervention trial, 14 young (18-35 y) and 15 older (65-85 y) adult males ingested 30 g protein provided as quark after a single-legged bout of resistance exercise on leg press and leg extension machines. Primed, continuous intravenous L-[ring-13C6]-phenylalanine infusions were combined with the collection of blood and muscle tissue samples to assess postabsorptive and 4-h postprandial muscle protein synthesis rates at rest and during recovery from exercise. Data represent means ± SDs; η2 was used to measure the effect size.

RESULTS: Plasma total amino acid and leucine concentrations increased after quark ingestion in both groups (both time: P < 0.001; η2 > 0.8), with no differences between groups (time × group: P = 0.127 and P = 0.172, respectively; η2<0.1). Muscle protein synthesis rates increased following quark ingestion at rest in both young (from 0.030 ± 0.011 to 0.051 ± 0.011 %·h-1) and older adult males (from 0.036 ± 0.011 to 0.062 ± 0.013 %·h-1), with a further increase in the exercised leg (to 0.071 ± 0.023 %·h-1 and to 0.078 ± 0.019 %·h-1, respectively; condition: P < 0.001; η2 = 0.716), with no differences between groups (condition × group: P = 0.747; η2 = 0.011).

CONCLUSIONS: Quark ingestion increases muscle protein synthesis rates at rest with a further increase following exercise in both young and older adult males. The postprandial muscle protein synthetic response following quark ingestion does not differ between healthy young and older adult males when an ample amount of protein is ingested. This trial was registered at the Dutch Trial register, which is accessible via as NL8403.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-75
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • Male
  • Humans
  • Muscle Proteins/metabolism
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Leucine/metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism
  • Eating
  • Dietary Proteins/metabolism
  • Postprandial Period
  • Resistance Training

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