Dietary protein, endurance exercise, and human skeletal-muscle protein turnover

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2007 Jan;10(1):40-5. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e3280115e3b.


Purpose of review: Whereas diet and exercise have been shown to influence whole-body protein utilization, little is known about the impact of these factors on skeletal-muscle protein turnover. We highlight the role of dietary protein in modulating skeletal-muscle protein turnover in response to endurance exercise. Effects of endurance exercise on skeletal-muscle protein metabolism are presented and the influence of habitual protein intake on exercise-related protein responses is discussed.

Recent findings: Skeletal-muscle protein turnover increases in response to endurance exercise training and following a single endurance exercise bout. Nutritional supplementation postexercise favorably affects skeletal-muscle protein synthesis and demonstrates amino acid availability as pivotal to the skeletal-muscle synthetic response following exercise. The level of habitual protein intake influences postexercise skeletal-muscle protein turnover.

Summary: Dietary protein and exercise are powerful stimuli affecting protein turnover. Since variation in habitual protein intake influences skeletal-muscle protein turnover postexercise, investigations are needed to determine what role protein intake has in regulating skeletal-muscle protein metabolism. Long-term, well controlled diet and exercise intervention studies are essential for clarification of the relation between protein intake, endurance exercise, and skeletal-muscle protein turnover. Studies designed to characterize this relationship should be attentive to habitual macronutrient and energy intakes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Availability
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Muscle Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*


  • Dietary Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins