The effect of 5-km noncompetitive swimming (moderate exercise) and 2-km competitive speed swimming (intensive exercise) on protein breakdown was studied in a group of young male volunteers (16-20 years old) who followed a 3-MH-free diet throughout the study. Urinary 3-MH and creatinine were determined over a period of 24 and 48 hr as an index of protein degradation. Basal 3-MH levels in the two groups of swimmers were 2.85 and 3.07 μmole × kg-1 × day-1. Mean rates of 3-MH excretion were, respectively, 1.54 and 1.94 μmole × kg-1 × day-1 for the 48 hr after moderate exercise and the 24 hr after intensive exercise. The decrease in 3-MH urinary excretion was still evident when calculated as the urinary 3-MH-to-creatinine ratio.
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