|When the satellite cells merge with the existing muscle cells to form new myonuclei this is more than muscle repair, it's also the foundation for future muscle growth - beyond previous limits | more|
I don't want to go into more detail, here. If you want to develop a better understanding of this process(es), I suggest you head back to the initially mentioned series about the physiological underpinnings of skeletal muscle hypertrophy.
Next to the inclusion of new myonuclei and facilitation of future muscle growth, the satellite cell pool will also provide the raw material for the repair or I should say replacement of damaged muscle cells. For strength trainees like you and me, it's thus of paramount importance to ensure that our satellite cells are happy and healthy. And you know what? That's not even difficult!
According to a recent study from the Aarhus University all it takes to help your muscle precursor cells happily proliferating (grow, divide and mature to "real" muscle cells) is the mix of carbohydrates and whey protein you're probably consuming after each workout, anyway: A shake containing 28 g whey protein hydrolysate high in leucine (4 %) an 28 g of carbohydrate (4 %) - a 56h carbohydrate supplement served as control.
|Figure 1: Overview of the experimental procedure (Farup. 2014)|
It's the whey that does the trick, but we don't know if we don't need CHOs as an adjunct
The provision of extra whey protein (but nor carbohydrates; white bars in Figure 2) lead to significant increases in satellite cell activity in both mixed muscle and type II fibers, but not type I fibers (not shown in Figure 2).
|Figure 2: Number of satellite cells per muscle fiber (higher number = higher chance of incorporation; Farup. 2014)|
- Farup, et al. "Whey protein supplementation accelerates satellite cell proliferation during recovery from eccentric exercise." Amino Acids (2014). Ahead of print.