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Leucine-Protein Supplement Improves Endurance Recovery

Posted on Thursday, 29 September, 2011 by anthony

Effect of Leucine-Protein Supplement on Endurance Recovery

Researchers have found that the consumption of a Leucine-Protein supplement improves recovery, as measured by the cyclists performance in subsequent bouts of interval training. The cyclists performed 2 – 2.5 hour interval training bouts on three consecutive evenings.  Following each interval training session the cyclists consumed either a leucine-protein high carbohydrate supplement or an isocaloric control consisting of protein, high carbohydrate, and fat. Below is the composition of the leucine-protein high carbohydrate supplement and isocaloric control:

Leucine-Protein Drink – Leucine (0.1g/kg/hour), Protein (0.4g/kg/hour), Carbohydrate (1.2g/kg/hour), and Fat (0.2g/kg/hour). This equates to a  70 kg athlete 10.5g of leucine, 42g of protein, 126g of carbohydrate, and 21g of fat in the 90 minutes after training.

Isocaloric Control – Protein (0.06g/kg/hour), Carbohydrate (1.6g/kg/hour), and Fat (0.2g/kg/hr). This Equates to a 70kg athlete consuming 6.3g of protein, 168g of carbohydrate, and 21g of fat in the 90 minutes after training.

What did the researchers find?

Following 39 h of recovery the cyclists performed a repeat-sprint performance test to see whether the Leucine-Protein consumption had enhanced their recovery. The researchers found that the postexercise consumption of leucine-protein improved the cyclists mean sprint power by 2.5% and reduced their perceived overall tiredness during the sprints by 13%.  The cyclists perceptions of leg tiredness and soreness were unaffected by the Leucine-protein consumption. The researchers also found that the Creatine-kinase (CK) concentration was lowered by 19% - the concentration of CK can indicate the level of muscle breakdown. The researchers concluded: “The ingestion of a leucine-protein supplement along with other high-carbohydrate food following intense training on consecutive days enhances subsequent high-intensity endurance performance and may attenuate muscle membrane disruption in well-trained male cyclists.”


Thomson JS, Ali A, Rowlands DS (2011). Leucine-protein supplemented recovery feeding enhances subsequent cycling performance in well-trained men. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Apr;36(2):242-53.

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