Nutrient provision increases signalling and protein synthesis in human skeletal muscle after repeated sprints

Vernon G. Coffey*, Daniel R. Moore, Nicholas A. Burd, Tracy Rerecich, Trent Stellingwerff, Andrew P. Garnham, Stuart M. Phillips, John A. Hawley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


The effect of nutrient availability on the acute molecular responses following repeated sprint exercise is unknown. The aim of this study was to determine skeletal muscle cellular and protein synthetic responses following repeated sprint exercise with nutrient provision. Eight healthy young male subjects undertook two sprint cycling sessions (10 × 6 s, 0.75 N m torque kg-1, 54 s recovery) with either pre-exercise nutrient (24 g whey, 4.8 g leucine, 50 g maltodextrin) or non-caloric placebo ingestion. Muscle biopsies were taken from vastus lateralis at rest, and after 15 and 240 min post-exercise recovery to determine muscle cell signalling responses and protein synthesis by primed constant infusion of L-[ring-13C6] phenylalanine. Peak and mean power outputs were similar between nutrient and placebo trials. Post-exercise myofibrillar protein synthetic rate was greater with nutrient ingestion compared with placebo ( ∼ 48%, P<0.05) but the rate of mitochondrial protein synthesis was similar between treatments. The increased myofibrillar protein synthesis following sprints with nutrient ingestion was associated with coordinated increases in Akt-mTOR-S6KrpS6 phosphorylation 15 min post-exercise (∼200-600%, P<0.05), while there was no effect on these signalling molecules when exercise was undertaken in the fasted state. For the first time we report a beneficial effect of nutrient provision on anabolic signalling and muscle myofibrillar protein synthesis following repeated sprint exercise. Ingestion of protein/carbohydrate in close proximity to high-intensity sprint exercise provides an environment that increases cell signalling and protein synthesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1473-1483
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes


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