Supplementation of a suboptimal protein dose with leucine or essential amino acids: effects on myofibrillar protein synthesis at rest and following resistance exercise in men Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Key points Essential amino acids (EAAs) stimulate increased rates of myofibrillar protein synthesis (MPS). Leucine is a key regulator of MPS in rodents; however, its importance relative to the other EAAs is not clear. About 20 g of protein maximally stimulates MPS after resistance exercise in young men, but we do not know if smaller doses can be made better by adding certain amino acids. We report that a suboptimal dose of whey protein (6.25 g) supplemented with either leucine or a mixture of EAAs without leucine stimulates MPS similar to 25 g of whey protein under resting conditions; however, only 25 g of whey sustains exercise‐induced rates of MPS. Adding leucine or a mixture of EAAs without leucine to a suboptimal dose of whey is as effective as 25 g whey at stimulating fed rates of MPS; however, 25 g of whey is better suited to increase resistance exercise‐induced muscle anabolism.


  • Churchward‐Venne, Tyler A
  • Burd, Nicholas A
  • Mitchell, Cameron J
  • West, Daniel WD
  • Philp, Andrew
  • Marcotte, George R
  • Baker, Steven
  • Baar, Keith
  • Phillips, Stuart

publication date

  • June 2012