Endurance Exercise Attenuates Postprandial Whole-Body Leucine Balance in Trained Men

Michael Mazzulla, Justin T. Parel, Joseph W. Beals, Stephan Van Vliet, Sidney Abou Sawan, Daniel W.D. West, Scott A. Paluska, Alexander V. Ulanov, Daniel R. Moore, Nicholas A. Burd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose Endurance exercise increases indices of small intestinal damage and leucine oxidation, which may attenuate dietary amino acid appearance and postprandial leucine balance during postexercise recovery. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of an acute bout of endurance exercise on postprandial leucine kinetics and net leucine balance. Methods In a crossover design, seven trained young men (age = 25.6 ± 2.3 yr; VO2peak = 61.4 ± 2.9 mL·kg-1·min-1; mean ± SEM) received a primed constant infusion of L-[1-13C]leucine before and after ingesting a mixed macronutrient meal containing 18 g whole egg protein intrinsically labeled with L-[5,5,5-2H3]leucine, 17 g fat, and 60 g carbohydrate at rest and after 60 min of treadmill running at 70% VO2peak. Results Plasma intestinal fatty acid binding protein concentrations and leucine oxidation both increased (P < 0.01) to peaks that were 2.5-fold above baseline values during exercise with a concomitant decrease (P < 0.01) in nonoxidative leucine disposal. Meal ingestion attenuated (P < 0.01) endogenous leucine rates of appearance at rest and after exercise. There were no differences (both, P > 0.05) in dietary leucine appearance rates or in the amount of dietary protein-derived leucine that appeared into circulation over the 5-h postprandial period at rest and after exercise (62% ± 2% and 63% ± 2%, respectively). Leucine balance over the 5-h postprandial period was positive (P < 0.01) in both conditions but was negative (P < 0.01) during the exercise trial after accounting for exercise-induced leucine oxidation. Conclusions We demonstrate that endurance exercise does not modulate dietary leucine availability from a mixed meal but attenuates postprandial whole-body leucine balance in trained young men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2585-2592
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Athlete
  • Dietary Amino Acids
  • Protein Synthesis
  • Recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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