12 January - 20 June 2016

Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance

A small study by the USDA Agricultural and Research Service and published in BMC Nutrition has investigated whether consuming a sugar-sweetened beverage with a high protein meal, impacts appetite, energy metabolism and oxidation.

A small study by the USDA Agricultural and Research Service and published in BMC Nutrition has investigated whether consuming a sugar-sweetened beverage with a high protein meal, impacts appetite, energy metabolism and oxidation.

Casperson et al. report that previous studies have indicated that “increasing dietary protein while maintaining energy intake produces a greater and more prolonged thermic effect and greater energy expenditure.”  They also report that dietary protein intake potentially increases fat oxidation by up to 50%. 

The scientists recruited 27 healthy-weight adults (13 males and 14 females) with an average age of 23 years. Before each visit to a centre the participants completed a 3-day food diary and completed a health questionnaire.  The participants visited the study centre for two day with at least a week wash out period between the two.  Before visiting the centre the participants fasted for 12 hours and were instructed not to exercise 48 to 72 hours prior to their metabolic studies.  The participants also completed a 7-day physical activity assessment at each visit. During the visit the participants spent the study day in a metabolic chamber for 24 hours which measured movement, oxygen, carbon dioxide, temperature and pressure.  Using this the scientists could assess how dietary changes affected energy expenditure and the way nutrients were processed by the body. 

On one visit the participants consumed 15% energy protein meals and on the other a 30% energy protein meals.  All meals included the same foods and provided 17g of fat and 500 kcals.  During the test day, the participants consumed two meals, breakfast and lunch.  One meal they consumed with a beverage containing 31g (SSB) and the other a non-nutritive sweetener (NNSB) (sucralose 4g).   Thirty minutes after each meal the subject rated their hunger, fullness, satiety, prospective food consumption and desire to eat. Resting metabolic rate was measured whilst they were in the chamber.  During the study urine was collected and analysed.

Casperson et al. found that during and after the meal, fat oxidation was greater in males compared to females. Inclusion of a SSB decreased fat oxidation after a meal by 8%  Consuming a SSB with a meal reduced fat oxidation  compared to NNSB, decreasing it by 7.2±11 g for the 15% protein meal and 12.6 ± 11g for the 30% protein meal . Casperson et al. report that consuming the sugar-sweetened drink increased the amount of energy used to metabolise the meal however it did not balance out the number of calories consumed. Increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% was found to reduce rating of hunger, and increase rating of fullness and satiety. 

The team state in their discussion that “these results highlight the impact of SSB consumption can have on energy balance and substrate oxidation and provides further insights into the potential role of SSBs in the etiology of obesity.”

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