This study determined the effects of heavy resistance training and daily overfeeding with carbohydrate and/or protein on blood and skeletal muscle markers of protein synthesis (MPS), myogenesis, body composition, and muscle performance. Twenty one resistance-trained males were randomly assigned to either a protein + carbohydrate [HPC (n = 11)] or a carbohydrate [HC (n = 10)] supplement group in a double-blind fashion. Body composition and muscle performance were assessed, and venous blood samples and muscle biopsies were obtained before and after eight weeks of resistance training and supplementation. Data were analyzed by two-way ANOVA (p ≤ 0.05). Total body mass, body water, and fat mass were significantly increased in both groups in response to resistance training, but not supplementation (p < 0.05); however, lean mass was not significantly increased in either group (p = 0.068). Upper- (p = 0.024) and lower-body (p = 0.001) muscle strength and myosin heavy chain (MHC) 1 (p = 0.039) and MHC 2A (p = 0.027) were also significantly increased with resistance training. Serum IGF-1, GH, and HGF were not significantly affected (p > 0.05). Muscle total DNA, total protein, and c-Met were not significantly affected (p > 0.05). In conjunction with resistance training, the peri-exercise and daily overfeeding of protein and/or carbohydrate did not preferentially improve body composition, muscle performance, and markers indicative of MPS and myogenic activation. Key pointsIn response to 56 days of heavy resistance training and HC or HPC supplementation, similar increases in muscle mass and strength in both groups occurred; however, the increases were not different between supplement groups.The supplementation of HPC had no preferential effect on augmenting serum IGF-1 GH, or HGF.The supplementation of HPC had no preferential effect on augmenting increases in total muscle protein content or the myogenic markers, total DNA and muscle cMet content.In response to 56 days of a daily supplemental dose of 94 g of protein and 196 g of carbohydrate, the HPC group was no more effective than 312 g of carbohydrate in the HC group in increasing muscle strength and mass due to its ability to elevate serum anabolic hormones and growth factors and markers of myogenic activation of satellite cells.
Keywords: Protein; carbohydrate; hypertrophy; muscle protein synthesis; muscle strength; myogenesis.