Novel Essential Amino Acid Supplements Following Resistance Exercise Induce Aminoacidemia and Enhance Anabolic Signaling Irrespective of Age: A Proof-of-Concept Trial Academic Article uri icon

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  • We investigated the effects of ingesting a leucine-enriched essential amino acid (EAA) gel alone or combined with resistance exercise (RE) versus RE alone (control) on plasma aminoacidemia and intramyocellular anabolic signaling in healthy younger (28 ± 4 years) and older (71 ± 3 years) adults. Blood samples were obtained throughout the three trials, while muscle biopsies were collected in the postabsorptive state and 2 h following RE, following the consumption of two 50 mL EAA gels (40% leucine, 15 g total EAA), and following RE with EAA (combination (COM)). Protein content and the phosphorylation status of key anabolic signaling proteins were determined via immunoblotting. Irrespective of age, during EAA and COM peak leucinemia (younger: 454 ± 32 µM and 537 ± 111 µM; older: 417 ± 99 µM and 553 ± 136 µM) occurred ~60–120 min post-ingestion (younger: 66 ± 6 min and 120 ± 60 min; older: 90 ± 13 min and 78 ± 12 min). In the pooled sample, the area under the curve for plasma leucine and the sum of branched-chain amino acids was significantly greater in EAA and COM compared with RE. For intramyocellular signaling, significant main effects were found for condition (mTOR (Ser2481), rpS6 (Ser235/236)) and age (S6K1 (Thr421/Ser424), 4E-BP1 (Thr37/46)) in age group analyses. The phosphorylation of rpS6 was of similar magnitude (~8-fold) in pooled and age group data 2 h following COM. Our findings suggest that a gel-based, leucine-enriched EAA supplement is associated with aminoacidemia and a muscle anabolic signaling response, thus representing an effective means of stimulating muscle protein anabolism in younger and older adults following EAA and COM.


  • Lees, Matthew J
  • Wilson, Oliver J
  • Webb, Erin K
  • Traylor, Daniel A
  • Prior, Todd
  • Elia, Antonis
  • Harlow, Paul S
  • Black, Alistair D
  • Parker, Paul J
  • Harris, Nick
  • Cooke, Michael
  • Balchin, Christopher
  • Butterworth, Mathew
  • Phillips, Stuart
  • Ispoglou, Theocharis

publication date

  • July 12, 2020