Timing of Essential Amino Acids and Carbohydrate in Relation to Resistance Exercise

by admin_admin_1 on January 8, 2012

Timing of Essential Amino Acids and Carbohydrate in Relation to Resistance Exercise

Over a series of two useful studies at the University of Texas, an optimal pattern of essential amino acid use for maximising muscle protein accretion has been established. In the first study, researchers gave six healthy volunteers, three male and three female each with a history of recreational exercise, 6g of essential amino acids plus 30g of Glucose (EAA+CHO) immediately before resistance exercise and then on a seperate day the same solution immediately post exercise. Half of the participants were given the solutions prior to exercise on the first day, and post on the second day, and the other participants took the solutions in reverse order. Measurements of protein synthesis in each condition were made using muscle biopsies and blood plasma measurements, and for each participant, there was a significantly better uptake of phenylalanine, the standard indicator for muscle protein synthesis, when the amino acids were administered before exercise – 209 ± 42 mg of phenylalanine with pre exercise ingestion and 81 ± 19 mg with post exercise ingestion as measured over four hours.


In the second trial, an identical EAA+CHO solution was given to twenty two subjects of mixed gender, with the difference that the drinks were given 1 hour before and 1 hour after exercise. Other study conditions were similar. In this experiment no significant difference was observed between the dosing patterns by the two hour post exercise point, and the overall response was lesser than the immediate pre and post workout intakes of EAA+CHO in the original trial.


Is important to note that the above studies do not establish the optimal amount of EAA’s to take, but do strongly suggest that taking essential amino acids immediately pre workout is the optimal timing to stimulate maximum muscle protein synthesis.





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