Protein Supplementation after Exercise and before Sleep Does Not Further Augment Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Resistance Exercise Training in Active Older Men

Andrew M. Holwerda, Maarten Overkamp, Kevin J. M. Paulussen, Joey S. J. Smeets, Janneau van Kranenburg, Evelien M. P. Backx, Annemie P. Gijsen, Joy P. B. Goessens, Lex B. Verdijk, Luc J. C. van Loon*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background: The proposed benefits of protein supplementation on the skeletal muscle adaptive response to resistance exercise training in older adults remain unclear.

Objective: The present study assessed whether protein supplementation after exercise and before sleep augments muscle mass and strength gains during resistance exercise training in older individuals.

Methods: Forty-one older men [mean +/- SEM age: 70 +/- 1 y; body mass index (kg/m(2)): 25.3 +/- 0.4] completed 12 wk of whole-body resistance exercise training (3 sessions/wk) and were randomly assigned to ingest either protein (21 g protein, 3 g total leucine, 9 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat; n = 21) or an energy-matched placebo (0 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g fat; n = 20) after exercise and each night before sleep. Maximal strength was assessed by 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) strength testing, and muscle hypertrophy was assessed at the whole-body (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), upper leg (computed tomography scan), and muscle fiber (biopsy) levels. Muscle protein synthesis rates were assessed during week 12 of training with the use of deuterated water ((H2O)-H-2) administration.

Results: Leg-extension 1RM increased in both groups (placebo: 88 +/- 3 to 104 +/- 4 kg; protein: 85 +/- 3 to 102 +/- 4 kg; P <0.001), with no differences between groups. Quadriceps cross-sectional area (placebo: 67.8 +/- 1.7 to 73.5 +/- 2.0 cm(2); protein: 68.4 +/- 1.4 to 72.3 +/- 1.4 cm(2); P <0.001) increased in both groups, with no differences between groups. Muscle fiber hypertrophy occurred in type II muscle fibers (placebo: 5486 +/- 418 to 6492 +/- 429 mu m(2); protein: 5367 +/- 301 to 6259 +/- 391 mu m(2); P <0.001), with no differences between groups. Muscle protein synthesis rates were 1.62% +/- 0.06% and 1.57% +/- 0.05%/d in the placebo and protein groups, respectively, with no differences between groups.

Conclusion: Protein supplementation after exercise and before sleep does not further augment skeletal muscle mass or strength gains during resistance exercise training in active older men. This study was registered at the Netherlands

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1723-1732
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume148
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2018

Keywords

  • aging
  • exercise
  • dietary protein
  • muscle mass
  • muscle protein synthesis
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • PLACEBO-CONTROLLED TRIAL
  • ESSENTIAL AMINO-ACIDS
  • SKELETAL-MUSCLE
  • WHEY-PROTEIN
  • SYNTHESIS RATES
  • ELDERLY-MEN
  • YOUNG MEN
  • DIETARY-PROTEIN
  • IN-VIVO

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