Recovery after exercise is an essential element of the training-adaptation cycle. Carbohydrate and protein intake are crucial for this process. This thesis found that the addition of fructose to glucose expedites liver glycogen repletion following exercise. Moreover, it was found that milk protein stimulates muscle protein synthesis more effectively compared to BCAAs or BCKAs. Another high-quality protein source to ingest after exercise are eggs, which can be ingested raw or boiled. This thesis found that ingesting boiled eggs increases plasma amino acid concentrations to a greater extent compared to raw eggs, with no differences in postprandial muscle protein synthesis rates during recovery from exercise.

Apart from nutritional strategies, athletes also apply other strategies to improve recovery after exercise. Popular recovery strategies are cold- and hot-water immersion. This thesis showed that cold-water immersion does not always represent a good strategy to accelerate recovery after exercise and may actually compromise muscle conditioning during prolonged exercise training. This thesis also found that hot-water immersion did not further increase muscle protein synthesis rates during recovery from exercise and, as such, does not seem to be a proper strategy to improve muscle conditioning. Finally, this thesis provided an overview of the known effects of different commonly applied post-exercise recovery strategies on accelerating glycogen repletion or stimulating muscle protein synthesis.

Defence date: 21/10/2022

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Fuchs, C.
Fuchs, C.
Post-doctoral Researcher
Maastricht University