Amino acid-rich supplements boost muscle mass with exercise

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Amino acid-rich supplements boost muscle mass with exercise

Related tags: Muscle protein synthesis, Amino acid, Metabolism

Supplements containing a combination of amino acids and protein before and after resistance training may boost upper body strength by 13%, says a new study from Baylor University.

The commercial supplements NO-Shotgun and NO-Synthesize by VPX were also associated with a 21% increase in lower-body strength, according to findings published in Nutrition & Metabolism​.

The commercial supplements contain a list of ingredients including creatine, arginine, glutamine, beta-alanine, keto-isocaproate (KIC), and leucine, casein and whey protein, branched-chain amino acids, lysine, phenylalanine, threonine, histidine, and methionine

“Our present results indicate that supplementation protocol of providing NO-Shotgun pre-exercise, NO-Synthesize post-exercise, and NO-Synthesize on non-exercise days for 28 days is more effective than carbohydrate at increasing muscle mass and strength and markers indicative of muscle protein synthesis, while having no negative impact on the clinical chemistry variables assessed,”​ wrote researchers led by Darryn Willoughby.

“Furthermore, our present results demonstrate preferential improvements in muscle strength and mass and agree with our previous study, and suggest that nutrient provision before and after resistance exercise is effective in preferentially augmenting muscle strength and mass.”

Study details

The Baylor researchers recruited 19 non-resistance trained men to undertake 28 days of heavy resistance training in combination with a supplement program. The men were provided with a pre-exercise supplement of 27 grams of carbohydrate or NO-Shotgun and 27 grams of carbohydrate or NO- Synthesize after exercise.

While total body mass increases did not differ between the groups, the researchers did report a “preferential increase of 12.62% and 21.28%, respectively, for upper- and lower-body strength with both being greater in [NO-Shotgun and NO-Synthesize group]”.

The researchers also reported that the various biochemical markers of muscle building increased in both groups, but a greater increase for Myo-D and MRF-4 in the NO-Shotgun and NO-Synthesize group.

“The results of the present study indicate that NO-Shotgun and NO-Synthesize supplementation provided before and after resistance exercise, respectively, and in conjunction with heavy resistance training, is more effective than carbohydrate at increasing fat-free mass, muscle strength and mass, and markers of muscle protein synthesis in untrained males, while having no effect on whole blood and serum clinical safety markers,”​ wrote the researchers.

“In regard to the various ingredients contained in both supplements, based on previous research it is conceivable that the primary active ingredients are whey protein, creatine, leucine, beta-alanine, and KIC,” ​they added.

Source: Nutrition & Metabolism
2011, 8​:78 doi:10.1186/1743-7075-8-78
“Effects of 28 days of resistance exercise while consuming commercially available pre- and post-workout supplements, NO-Shotgun and NO-Synthesize on body composition, muscle strength and mass, markers of protein synthesis, and clinical safety markers in males”
Authors: M. Spillane, N. Schwarz, S. Leddy, T. Correa, M. Minter, V. Longoria, D.S. Willoughby

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