Physical Activity Performed in the Evening Increases the Overnight Muscle Protein Synthetic Response to Presleep Protein Ingestion in Older Men

J Nutr. 2016 Jul;146(7):1307-14. doi: 10.3945/jn.116.230086. Epub 2016 Jun 8.

Abstract

Background: The age-related decline in skeletal muscle mass is partly attributed to anabolic resistance to food intake. Dietary protein ingestion before sleep could be used as a nutritional strategy to compensate for anabolic resistance.

Objective: The present study assessed whether physical activity performed in the evening can augment the overnight muscle protein synthetic response to presleep protein ingestion in older men.

Methods: In a parallel group design, 23 healthy older men (mean ± SEM age: 71 ± 1 y) were randomly assigned to ingest 40 g protein intrinsically labeled with l-[1-(13)C]-phenylalanine and l-[1-(13)C]-leucine before going to sleep with (PRO+EX) or without (PRO) performing physical activity earlier in the evening. Overnight protein digestion and absorption kinetics and myofibrillar protein synthesis rates were assessed by combining primed, continuous infusions of l-[ring-(2)H5]-phenylalanine, l-[1-(13)C]-leucine, and l-[ring-(2)H2]-tyrosine with the ingestion of intrinsically labeled casein protein. Muscle and blood samples were collected throughout overnight sleep.

Results: Protein ingested before sleep was normally digested and absorbed, with 54% ± 2% of the protein-derived amino acids appearing in the circulation throughout overnight sleep. Overnight myofibrillar protein synthesis rates were 31% (0.058% ± 0.002%/h compared with 0.044% ± 0.003%/h; P < 0.01; based on l-[ring-(2)H5]-phenylalanine) and 27% (0.074% ± 0.004%/h compared with 0.058% ± 0.003%/h; P < 0.01; based on l-[1-(13)C]-leucine) higher in the PRO+EX than in the PRO treatment. More dietary protein-derived amino acids were incorporated into de novo myofibrillar protein during overnight sleep in PRO+EX than in PRO treatment (0.042 ± 0.002 compared with 0.033 ± 0.002 mole percent excess; P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Physical activity performed in the evening augments the overnight muscle protein synthetic response to presleep protein ingestion and allows more of the ingested protein-derived amino acids to be used for de novo muscle protein synthesis during overnight sleep in older men. This trial was registered at Nederlands Trial Register as NTR3885.

Keywords: dietary protein; exercise; muscle protein synthesis; overnight; sarcopenia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Amino Acids
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Digestion
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Proteins / genetics
  • Muscle Proteins / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Sleep / physiology*

Substances

  • Amino Acids
  • Carbon Isotopes
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Muscle Proteins

Associated data

  • NTR/NTR3885