Amino Acids

, Volume 50, Issue 7, pp 831–839 | Cite as

The effects of acute leucine or leucine–glutamine co-ingestion on recovery from eccentrically biased exercise

  • Mark WaldronEmail author
  • Cameron Ralph
  • Owen Jeffries
  • Jamie Tallent
  • Nicola Theis
  • Stephen David Patterson
Original Article


This study investigated the effects of leucine or leucine + glutamine supplementation on recovery from eccentric exercise. In a double-blind independent groups design, 23 men were randomly assigned to a leucine (0.087 g/kg; n = 8), leucine + glutamine (0.087 g/kg + glutamine 0.3 g/kg; n = 8) or placebo (0.3 g/kg maltodextrin; n = 7) group. Participants performed 5 sets of drop jumps, with each set comprising 20 repetitions. Isometric knee-extensor strength, counter-movement jump (CMJ) height, delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and creatine kinase (CK) were measured at baseline, 1, 24, 48 h and 72 h post-exercise. There was a time × group interaction for isometric strength, CMJ and CK (P < 0.05), with differences between the leucine + glutamine and placebo group at 48 h and 72 h for strength (P = 0.013; d = 1.43 and P < 0.001; d = 2.06), CMJ (P = 0.008; d = 0.87 and P = 0.019; d = 1.17) and CK at 24 h (P = 0.012; d = 0.54) and 48 h (P = 0.010; d = 1.37). The leucine group produced higher strength at 72 h compared to placebo (P = 0.007; d = 1.65) and lower CK at 24 h (P = 0.039; d = 0.63) and 48 h (P = 0.022; d = 1.03). Oral leucine or leucine + glutamine increased the rate of recovery compared to placebo after eccentric exercise. These findings highlight potential benefits of co-ingesting these amino acids to ameliorate recovery.


Amino acids Muscle damage Recovery Supplementation Exercise 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Sport, Health and Applied ScienceSt Mary’s UniversityTwickenham, LondonUK
  2. 2.School of Science and TechnologyUniversity of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia
  3. 3.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesUniversity of GloucestershireGloucesterUK

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