By Jose Fuentes/CN/C.S.P.S/Writer/Blogger
Because net protein gain is a sum of both synthesis and breakdown, merely looking at protein synthesis as a measure of net protein gain can be misleading. To increase muscle mass and strength in the post work out period , the muscle cell must begin to tissue repair and to set the stage for muscle growth.
Researches at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, reported that supplementing with a carbohydrate/protein supplement, both immediately and one hour after resistance exercise, increase muscle protein synthesis compared with a carbohydrate supplement. They noted higher blood insulin and glucose levels and lower 3 -methylhistidine excretion following consumption of the carbohydrate protein supplement. You may recall that 3-methylhistidine excretion is an indicator of muscle fiber damage.
Additional evidence of the positive effect of a carbohydrate/protein supplement on post exercise protein synthesis comes from Vanderbilt University. Investigators showed that a carbohydrate/protein supplement provided immediately after exercise increased protein synthesis almost sixfold over a carbohydrate supplement. The results for the all important net protein balance were even more telling. The carbohydrate protein supplement showed a significant increase in net protein balance pared with a carbohydrate supplement.
As most people, you may expect these results since protein synthesis requires amino-acids , which obviously are not found in a carbohydrate supplement. A more interesting comparison would be between a carbohydrate /protein supplement and a protein supplement. The answer this question comes from a recent study from University Of Texas Health Science Center at Galveston. Scientists evaluated the effects of a carbohydrate supplement, an amino acid supplement, and an amino acid/carbohydrate supplement on protein synthesis. The results were dramatic. Researches found that protein synthesis was greatest with the carbohydrate/amino-acid protein and least with the carbohydrate supplement. In fact, the carbohydrate/amino acid supplement was 38 percent more effective than the amino acid supplement and 100 percent more effective than the carbohydrate supplement. This study more than any other study, should convince you that the combination of carbohydrate and protein produces a synergistic effect on protein synthesis.
Furthermore, consumption of a carbohydrate/protein drink post exercise may also replenish glutamine stores faster. In other studies the University of Maastrich in The Netherlands provided either a carbohydrate/protein supplement or carbohydrate supplement one and two hours after exercise. Plasma glutamine levels decreased 20 percent in subjects receiving the carbohydrate alone and remained low in recovery. In subjects consuming the carbohydrate/protein supplement, postexercise glutamine levels did not decline.
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