In the first study, researchers led by Stuart Phillips (McMaster University) investigated whether postexercise muscle protein synthesis is different when a large, single dose of whey protein (25 g) is consumed immediately after activity compared with when smaller doses ( g) are consumed 10 times over an extended period. The idea with the small "protein shots" was to mimic how another milk protein, casein, is digested. Participants (8 men; mean age: 22 y) performed 8 sets of 8-10 repetitions on a leg-extension machine; each subject participated in both dietary treatment regimens. In the second study led by Stefan Pasiakos from the US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, active-duty military personnel (7 men and 1 woman; mean age: 24 y) consumed a high-protein beverage (10 g protein as essential amino acids) containing or g leucine while exercising on a stationary bicycle. In both studies, postexercise muscle protein synthesis was evaluated.
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As of May 2016 [update] , the signaling cascade that mediates the HMB-induced reduction in muscle protein breakdown has not been identified in living humans, although it is well-established that it attenuates proteolysis in humans in vivo .   Unlike L -leucine , HMB attenuates muscle protein breakdown in an insulin -independent manner in humans. [note 7]  HMB is believed to reduce muscle protein breakdown in humans by inhibiting the 19S and 20S subunits of the ubiquitin–proteasome system in skeletal muscle and by inhibiting apoptosis of skeletal muscle nuclei via unidentified mechanisms.