Glucose uptake is increased in trained vs. untrained muscle during heavy exercise

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Endurance training increases muscle content of glucose transporter proteins (GLUT-4) but decreases glucose utilization during exercise at a given absolute submaximal intensity. We hypothesized that glucose uptake might be higher in trained vs. untrained muscle during heavy exercise in the glycogen-depleted state. Eight untrained subjects endurance trained one thigh for 3 wk using a knee-extensor ergometer. The subjects then performed two-legged glycogen-depleting exercise and consumed a carbohydrate-free meal thereafter to keep muscle glycogen concentration low. The next morning, subjects performed dynamic knee extensions with both thighs simultaneously at 60, 80, and until exhaustion at 100% of each thigh's peak workload. Glucose uptake was similar in both thighs during exercise at 60% of thigh peak workload. At the end of 80 and at 100% of peak workload, glucose uptake was on average 33 and 22% higher, respectively, in trained compared with untrained muscle (P < 0.05). Training increased the muscle content of GLUT-4 by 66% (P < 0. 05). At exhaustion, glucose extraction correlated significantly (r = 0.61) with total muscle GLUT-4 protein. Thus, when working at a high load with low glycogen concentrations, muscle glucose uptake is significantly higher in trained than in untrained muscle. This may be due to the higher GLUT-4 protein concentration in trained muscle.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1151-1158
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2000

    Research areas

  • Adaptation, Physiological, Adult, Exercise/physiology, Glucose/metabolism, Glucose Transporter Type 4, Glycogen, Human skeletal muscle, Leg, Male, Monosaccharide Transport Proteins/metabolism, Muscle Proteins, Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism, Physical Education and Training, Physical Endurance/physiology, Reference Values, Thigh

ID: 209459955