Skeletal muscles have a fundamental role in locomotion and whole body metabolism, with muscle mass and quality being linked to improved health and even lifespan. Optimizing nutrition in combination with exercise is considered an established, effective ergogenic practice for athletic performance. Importantly, exercise and nutritional approaches also remain arguably the most effective countermeasure for muscle dysfunction associated with aging and numerous clinical conditions, e.g., cancer cachexia, COPD, and organ failure, via engendering favorable adaptations such as increased muscle mass and oxidative capacity. Therefore, it is important to consider the effects of established and novel effectors of muscle mass, function, and metabolism in relation to nutrition and exercise. To address this gap, in this review, we detail existing evidence surrounding the efficacy of a nonexhaustive list of macronutrient, micronutrient, and “nutraceutical” compounds alone and in combination with exercise in relation to skeletal muscle mass, metabolism (protein and fuel), and exercise performance (i.e., strength and endurance capacity). It has long been established that macronutrients have specific roles and impact upon protein metabolism and exercise performance, (i.e., protein positively influences muscle mass and protein metabolism), whereas carbohydrate and fat intakes can influence fuel metabolism and exercise performance. Regarding novel nutraceuticals, we show that the following ones in particular may have effects in relation to 1) muscle mass/protein metabolism: leucine, hydroxyl β-methylbutyrate, creatine, vitamin-D, ursolic acid, and phosphatidic acid; and 2) exercise performance: (i.e., strength or endurance capacity): hydroxyl β-methylbutyrate, carnitine, creatine, nitrates, and β-alanine.
- skeletal muscle
- Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society
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