Reduced resting skeletal muscle protein synthesis is rescued by resistance exercise and protein ingestion following short-term energy deficit

Jose L. Areta, Louise M. Burke, Donny M. Camera, Daniel W D West, Siobhan Crawshay, Daniel R. Moore, Trent Stellingwerff, Stuart M. Phillips, John A. Hawley*, Vernon G. Coffey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


The myofibrillar protein synthesis (MPS) response to resistance exercise (REX) and protein ingestion during energy deficit (ED) is unknown. In young men (n = 8) and women (n = 7), we determined protein signaling and resting postabsorptive MPS during energy balance [EB; 45 fat-free mass (FFM)(-1).day(-1)] and after 5 days of ED (30 as well as MPS while in ED after acute REX in the fasted state and with the ingestion of whey protein (15 and 30 g). Postabsorptive rates of MPS were 27% lower in ED than EB (P <0.001), but REX stimulated MPS to rates equal to EB. Ingestion of 15 and 30 g of protein after REX in ED increased MPS similar to 16 and similar to 34% above resting EB (P <0.02). p70 S6K Thr(389) phosphorylation increased above EB only with combined exercise and protein intake (similar to 2-7 fold, P <0.05). In conclusion, short-term ED reduces postabsorptive MPS; however, a bout of REX in ED restores MPS to values observed at rest in EB. The ingestion of protein after REX further increases MPS above resting EB in a dose-dependent manner. We conclude that combining REX with increased protein availability after exercise enhances rates of skeletal muscle protein synthesis during short-term ED and could in the long term preserve muscle mass.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E989-E997
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

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