Skeletal muscle weakness and atrophy affect millions of –mostly elderly- people around the world.
It negatively influences the quality of life and is associated with poor survival rates. Treatment and
prevention mainly consists of resistance training (more commonly known as strength training),
combined with an adequate nutritional approach. This project will explore the effectiveness of a
novel dietary strategy to develop muscle strength during a 12-week resistance training period. It
consists of ingesting pure histidine-containing dipeptides (HCD) 1h prior to each training session,
and it will initially be tested in a healthy population. HCD, a mixture of L-carnosine and L-anserine,
are notoriously high in chicken meat (hence the title ‘Chicken power’) and in a number of
preliminary studies we demonstrated it to have acute force-potentiating effects in humans. In
order to attain the best possible training effects during the study, first the modalities of training
will be optimized and the mechanism behind the performance-enhancing effects of HCD explored.
Our goals are 1) to obtain a better insight in the best modalities and limiting factors of resistance
training, and 2) to develop a novel nutritional supplement to assist muscle strength training in
relation to sport performance, rehabilitation and prevention of muscular weakness.