The addition of fenugreek extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum) to glucose feeding increases muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise

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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of ingesting an oral supplement containing 4-Hydroxyisoleucine (4-OH-Ile, isolated from fenugreek seeds [Trigonella foenum-graecum]) with a glucose beverage on rates of post-exercise muscle glycogen resynthesis in trained male cyclists. Following an overnight fast (12 hr), subjects completed a 90-minute glycogen depletion ride after which a muscle biopsy was obtained from the vastus lateralis. Immediately and 2 hours after the muscle biopsy, subjects ingested either an oral dose of dextrose (Glu) (1.8 g·kg BW−1) or 4-OH-Ile supplement (Glu+4-OH-Ile, including 2.0 mg·kg−1 4-OH-Ile with the same oral dose of dextrose) with a second muscle biopsy 4 hours after exercise. Post exercise muscle glycogen concentration was similar for both trials. Overall, there was a significant increase in glucose and insulin concentrations from time 0 throughout the majority of the 4-hour recovery period, with no significant differences between the two trials at any time point. Although muscle glycogen concentration significantly increased from immediately post exercise to 4 hr of recovery for both trials, the net rate of muscle glycogen resynthesis was 63% greater during Glu+4-OH-Ile (10.6±3.3 vs. 6.5±2.6 g·kg wet wt.−1·hr.−1 for the Glu+4-OH-Ile and Glu trials, respectively). These data demonstrate that when the fenugreek extract supplement (4-OH-Ile) is added to a high oral dose of dextrose, rates of post-exercise glycogen resynthesis are enhanced above dextrose alone.

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Ruby, B., Gaskill, S., Slivka, D. et al. The addition of fenugreek extract (Trigonella foenum-graecum) to glucose feeding increases muscle glycogen resynthesis after exercise. Amino Acids 28, 71–76 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-004-0143-z

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  • Keywords: Glucose uptake – 4-OH-Isoleucine – Insulin – Muscle recovery – Post-exercise nutrition