Comparison of leucine kinetics in endurance-trained and sedentary humans

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Whole body leucine kinetics was compared in endurance-trained athletes and sedentary controls matched for age, gender, and body weight. Kinetic studies were performed during 3 h of rest, 1 h of exercise (50% maximal oxygen consumption), and 2 h of recovery. When leucine kinetics were expressed both per unit of body weight and per unit of fat-free mass, both groups demonstrated an increase in leucine oxidation during exercise (P < 0.01). Trained athletes had a greater leucine rate of appearance during exercise and recovery compared with their sedentary counterparts (P < 0.05) and an increased leucine oxidation at all times on the basis of body weight (P < 0.05). However, all of these between-group differences were eliminated when leucine kinetics were corrected for fat-free tissue mass. Therefore, correction of leucine kinetics for fat-free mass may be important when cross- sectional investigations on humans are performed. Furthermore, leucine oxidation, when expressed relative to whole-body oxygen consumption during exercise, was similar between groups. It is concluded that there was no difference between endurance-trained and sedentary humans in whole body leucine kinetics during rest, exercise, or recovery when expressed per unit of fat-free tissue mass.

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Journal of Applied Physiology