Metabolic and hormonal changes after exercise in relation to muscle glycogen concentrations


Department of Basic Veterinary Sciences, University of Helsinki, POB 57, FIN-00014 Helsinki


To test whether, in horses, the concentration of muscle glycogen can be influenced by increasing the uptake of glucose into the muscle cells or by providing a gluconeogenic precursor, 9 trained half-bred riding horses performed on a treadmill a 1.5 h competition exercise test (CET). Each horse performed CET 3 times and 30 min after CET, each was given one of the following solutions: isotonic glucose-electrolyte (GE) solution, GE supplemented with 50 g leucine (GEL) to increase insulin secretion, or GE supplemented with 200 ml propionic acid (GEP), a gluconeogenic precursor. Administration of GE solutions caused no increase in plasma glucose concentration. The highest concentration of insulin was measured after GEL, but also in the GE group the concentration of insulin increased. GEP completely inhibited the increase in insulin concentration. Concentration of glucagon was increased 6 and 22.5 h after CET. None of the post exercise treatments influenced significantly the glycogen content at 22.5 h after CET. This indicates that neither i) elevation of insulin concentration to increase muscle-uptake of glucose, nor ii) increase in the availability of a glucose precursor, propionic acid, was able to increase accumulation of glycogen in the middle gluteal muscle.