Eccentric contractions induce muscle damage, which impairs recovery of glycogen and adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) content over several days. Leucine-enriched essential amino acids (LEAAs) enhance the recovery in muscles that are damaged after eccentric contractions. However, the role of LEAAs in this process remains unclear. We evaluated the content in glycogen and high energy phosphates molecules (phosphocreatine (PCr), adenosine di-phosphate (ADP) and ATP) in rats that were following electrically stimulated eccentric contractions. Muscle glycogen content decreased immediately after the contraction and remained low for the first three days after the stimulation, but increased seven days after the eccentric contraction. LEAAs administration did not change muscle glycogen content during the first three days after the contraction. Interestingly, however, it induced a further increase in muscle glycogen seven days after the stimulation. Contrarily, ATP content decreased immediately after the eccentric contraction, and remained lower for up to seven days after. Additionally, LEAAs administration did not affect the ATP content over the experimental period. Finally, ADP and PCr levels did not significantly change after the contractions or LEAA administration. LEAAs modulate the recovery of glycogen content in muscle after damage-inducing exercise.
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