Carbohydrate does not augment exercise-induced protein accretion versus protein alone

Aaron W. Staples, Nicholas A. Burd, Daniel W.D. West, Katharine D. Currie, Philip J. Atherton, Daniel R. Moore, Michael J. Rennie, Maureen J. MacDonald, Steven K. Baker, Stuart M. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: We tested the thesis that CHO and protein coingestion would augment muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and inhibit muscle protein breakdown (MPB) at rest and after resistance exercise. METHODS: Nine men (age = 23.0 ± 1.9 yr, body mass index = 24.2 ± 2.1 kg•m-1) performed two unilateral knee extension trials (four sets × 8-12 repetitions to failure) followed by consumption of 25 g of whey protein (PRO) or 25 g of whey protein plus 50 g of maltodextrin (PRO + CARB). Muscle biopsies and stable isotope methodology were used to measure MPS and MPB. RESULTS: The areas under the glucose and insulin curves were 17.5-fold (P < 0.05) and 5-fold (P < 0.05) greater, respectively, for PRO + CARB than for PRO. Exercise increased MPS and MPB (both P < 0.05), but there were no differences between PRO and PRO + CARB in the rested or exercised legs. Phosphorylation of Akt was greater in the PRO + CARB than in the PRO trial (P < 0.05); phosphorylations of Akt (P = 0.05) and acetyl coA carboxylase-β (P < 0.05) were greater after exercise than at rest. The concurrent ingestion of 50 g of CHO with 25 g of protein did not stimulate mixed MPS or inhibit MPB more than 25 g of protein alone either at rest or after resistance exercise. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that insulin is not additive or synergistic to rates of MPS or MPB when CHO is coingested with a dose of protein that maximally stimulates rates of MPS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1161
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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