ENDURANCE RECOVERY AND PERFORMANCE ENHANCED BY ADDING LEUCINE TO PROTEIN AND CARBS
Research & Development
By Jeff Volek - Chat with Doug on the ProSource Fitness Forum
Sep 27, 2011
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In athletes consuming relatively high carbohydrate diets, there appears to be a benefit of adding protein to carbs during the post-exercise recovery period.
There is some debate as to whether adding additional leucine enhances the effect beyond that typically found in most proteins. Moreover, most prior work only examined the immediate recovery period after exercise as opposed to measuring events over several days. These issues were addressed in a recent study conducted in New Zealand. Ten highly trained cyclists were studied. For three consecutive days they performed 2.5 hours of intense cycling. During one block, they were provided with a high carbohydrate supplement for 1.5 hours after training. On a separate occasion they consumed a high carb supplement that also had protein and extra leucine after exercise on the 3 training days. After a day of rest, a performance test was conducted to examine if there was a difference in recovery attributed to the supplementation. A post-exercise protein-leucine supplement improved sprint power by 3% and perceived fatigue by 13%. There was also a trend for less accumulation of markers of muscle damage. The results suggest that including a leucine-rich protein supplement along with high carbohydrate foods after exercise may be beneficial during periods of high intensity training.
Thomson JS, Ali A, Rowlands DS. Leucine-protein supplemented recovery feeding enhances subsequent cycling performance in well-trained men. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Apr;36(2):242-53.
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