Androgenic Responses to Resistance Exercise: Effects of Feeding and L-Carnitine

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The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of 3 wk of L-carnitine L-tartrate (LCLT) supplementation and post-resistance-exercise (RE) feeding on hormonal and androgen receptor (AR) responses.


Ten resistance-trained men (mean ± SD: age, 22 ± 1 yr; mass, 86.3 ± 15.3 kg; height, 181 ± 11 cm) supplemented with LCLT (equivalent to 2 g of L-carnitine per day) or placebo (PL) for 21 d, provided muscle biopsies for AR determinations, then performed two RE protocols: one followed by water intake, and one followed by feeding (8 kcal·kg−1 body mass, consisting of 56% carbohydrate, 16% protein, and 28% fat). RE protocols were randomized and included serial blood draws and a 1-h post-RE biopsy. After a 7-d washout period, subjects crossed over, and all experimental procedures were repeated.


LCLT supplementation upregulated (P < 0.05) preexercise AR content compared with PL (12.9 ± 5.9 vs 11.2 ± 4.0 au, respectively). RE increased (P < 0.05) AR content compared with pre-RE values in the PL trial only. Post-RE feeding significantly increased AR content compared with baseline and water trials for both LCLT and PL. Serum total testosterone concentrations were suppressed (P < 0.05) during feeding trials with respect to corresponding water and pre-RE values. Luteinizing hormone demonstrated subtle, yet significant changes in response to feeding and LCLT.


In summary, these data demonstrated that: 1) feeding after RE increased AR content, which may result in increased testosterone uptake, and thus enhanced luteinizing hormone secretion via feedback mechanisms; and 2) LCLT supplementation upregulated AR content, which may promote recovery from RE.

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