Nutrition and resistance exercise during reconditioning from unloading

Kyle J. Hackney, Summer B. Cook, Lori L. Ploutz-Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Introduction: The recovery of muscle size and function following musculoskeletal unloading has received little attention in the scientific literature. Nutritional factors such as total energy, protein intake, and the pre- and/or post-exercise consumption of amino acid-carbohydrate (AACHO) have been shown to be important for enhancing training adaptations in recreational exercisers. Purpose: A preliminary study was conducted to explore the interaction between nutrition and resistance exercise during reconditioning from unloading. Methods: Muscle CSA, strength, and endurance were measured during a control period following 30 d of unilateral lower limb suspension (Post-ULLS) and after 18 d of reconditioning (ReCon). Six participants consumed either AACHO (979 kJ, 36 g carbohydrate, 22.5 g protein) or placebo (PLAC) prior to resistance exercise (3 d z wk 2 1) during reconditioning. Total daily energy and macronutrient intake were evaluated from dietary journals. Results: From Post-ULLS to ReCon, muscle endurance increased 1.1 6 0.6 min in AACHO and decreased 1.3 6 0.7 min in PLAC. Muscle CSA (6 6 2 vs. 5 6 3 cm 2) and strength (105 6 53 vs. 81 6 37 N) increased similarly in AACHO and PLAC, respectively. When groups were pooled there was a significant correlation between daily protein intake and the recovery of muscle CSA (r 5 0.81). Discussion: Although our findings are preliminary, timing AACHO intake during reconditioning was beneficial for muscular endurance, while overall protein intake was associated with increased muscle size. A systematic evaluation into the synergistic relationship between nutrition and exercise during muscular recovery from prolonged unloading is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-809
Number of pages5
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Countermeasures
  • Disuse
  • Hypertrophy
  • Reloading
  • Strength training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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