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Essential Amino Acids for Muscle Protein Accretion

Ferrando, Arny A PhD1; Tipton, Kevin D PhD2; Wolfe, Robert R PhD1

Strength & Conditioning Journal: February 2010 - Volume 32 - Issue 1 - p 87-92
doi: 10.1519/SSC.0b013e3181c212a3
Article

THE STIMULATION OF MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS IS RELIANT ON THE ADEQUATE AVAILABILITY OF AMINO ACID (AA) PRECURSORS. THE INCREASE IN CIRCULATING AA CONCENTRATIONS IN THE BLOOD SERVES AS A SIGNAL TO INITIATE SYNTHETIC PROCESSES. A SUFFICIENT INCREASE IN BLOOD AA IS REQUIRED TO OVERCOME A CONCENTRATION GRADIENT THAT NORMALLY FAVORS THE INTRACELLULAR SPACE. WE HAVE DEMONSTRATED THAT THE RATE OF MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE RATE OF APPEARANCE OF AA IN THE INTRACELLULAR SPACE. MUSCLE PROTEINS COMPRISE VARIOUS ESSENTIAL AND NONESSENTIAL AA; HOWEVER, ONLY INGESTION OF THE ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS (EAA) IS REQUIRED TO STIMULATE MUSCLE PROTEIN SYNTHESIS. WHILE EAA ALONE STIMULATE MUSCLE PROTEIN ANABOLISM, THE EFFECT IS MAGNIFIED WHEN COMBINED WITH EXERCISE. FURTHERMORE, THE TIMING OF INGESTION IN RELATION TO EXERCISE IS IMPORTANT IN ACHIEVING A MAXIMAL ANABOLIC RESPONSE. THE BENEFITS OF FREE-FORM EAA AND INTACT PROTEIN ON EXERCISE-INDUCED MUSCLE ANABOLISM ARE DISCUSSED. FINALLY, THE EFFECTS OF AGING MUST BE CONSIDERED IN THE OPTIMAL EAA FORMULATION.

1Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity, Department of Geriatrics, UAMS, Little Rock, Arkansas; and 2Human Performance Laboratory, United Kingdom School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Arny A. Ferrandois a professor of geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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Robert R. Wolfeis a professor of geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the director for the Center for Translational Research in Aging and Longevity.

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Kevin D. Tiptonis a senior lecturer in Exercise Metabolism at the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Birmingham.

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© 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association