Publication Date



Protein ingestion before sleep augments postexercise muscle protein synthesis during overnight recovery. It is unknown whether postexercise and presleep protein consumption modulates postprandial protein handling and myofibrillar protein synthetic responses the following morning. Sixteen healthy young ( 24 ± 1 yr ) men performed unilateral resistance-type exercise ( contralateral leg acting as a resting control ) at 2000. Participants ingested 20 g of protein immediately after exercise plus 60 g of protein presleep ( PRO group; n = 8 ) or equivalent boluses of carbohydrate ( CON; n = 8 ). The subsequent morning participants received primed, continuous infusions of l-[ring-2H5]phenylalanine and l-[1-13C]leucine combined with ingestion of 20 g intrinsically l-[1-13C]phenylalanine- and l-[1-13C]leucine-labeled protein to assess postprandial protein handling and myofibrillar protein synthesis in the rested and exercised leg in CON and PRO. Exercise increased postabsorptive myofibrillar protein synthesis rates the subsequent day ( P < 0.001 ), with no differences between CON and PRO. Protein ingested in the morning increased myofibrillar protein synthesis in both the exercised and rested leg ( P < 0.01 ), with no differences between treatments. Myofibrillar protein bound l-[1-13C]phenylalanine enrichments were greater in the exercised ( 0.016 ± 0.002 and 0.015 ± 0.002 MPE in CON and PRO, respectively ) vs. rested ( 0.010 ± 0.002 and 0.009 ± 0.002 MPE in CON and PRO, respectively ) leg ( P < 0.05 ), with no differences between treatments ( P > 0.05 ). The additive effects of resistance-type exercise and protein ingestion on myofibrillar protein synthesis persist for more than 12 h after exercise and are not modulated by protein consumption during acute postexercise recovery. This work provides evidence of an extended window of opportunity where presleep protein supplementation can be an effective nutrient timing strategy to optimize skeletal muscle reconditioning.


Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research

Document Type

Open Access Journal Article

Access Rights

Open Access


This is an accepted manuscript.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.