Post exercise carbohydrate-protein supplementation: phosphorylation of muscle proteins involved in glycogen synthesis and protein translation

Amino Acids. 2008 Jun;35(1):89-97. doi: 10.1007/s00726-007-0620-2. Epub 2007 Dec 28.


The enzymes Akt, mTOR, p70(S6K), rpS6, GSK3, and glycogen synthase interact in the control of protein and/or glycogen synthesis in skeletal muscle, and each has been found to respond to exercise and nutrient supplementation. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that nutrient supplementation post exercise, in the form of a carbohydrate-protein (CHO-PRO) supplement, would alter the phosphorylation state of these enzymes in a manner that should increase muscle protein and glycogen synthesis above that produced by exercise alone. After a 45 min cycling session followed by sprints and again 15 min later, the subjects (n = 8) ingested 400 ml of a CHO-PRO drink (7.8% dextrose and 1.8% protein-electrolyte) or a placebo drink, as assigned using a randomized, counter-balanced design with repeated measures. Biopsies of the vastus lateralis were taken before exercise and at 45 min of recovery. At 45 min after supplementation, CHO-PRO treatment yielded greater phosphorylation of Akt (65%), mTOR (86%), rpS6 (85-fold), and GSK3alpha/beta (57%) than pre-exercise levels (p < 0.05). Although p70(S6k) showed an exercise response after 45 min, there were no differences between treatments. Glycogen synthase (GS) phosphorylation was significantly reduced 45 min after exercise for both treatments, but the reduction in phosphorylation was greatest during the CHO-PRO treatment (3-fold decrease; p < 0.05), indicating greater activation of GS following supplementation. No difference between treatments was detected prior to exercise for any of the enzymes. These results suggest that a post exercise CHO-PRO supplement alters the phosporylation levels of the enzymes tested in a manner that should accelerate muscle glycogen synthesis and protein initiation during recovery from cycling exercise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Carbohydrates / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Glycogen / biosynthesis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Protein Biosynthesis / physiology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Time Factors


  • Dietary Carbohydrates
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins
  • Glycogen