Optimal Dose of Whey Protein for Dieting: 20, 40, 60, or 80 g?

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Optimal Dose of Whey Protein for Dieting: 20, 40, 60, or 80 g?

by: Robbie Durand

Whey protein can suppress appetite better than casein, soy, or egg albumin protein. The greater leucine concentration of whey protein not only activates muscle building pathways, but those same pathways signal the brain to release transmitters that blunt hunger and maintain satiety longer term. Many athletes perform resistance training and consume dietary protein as a strategy to promote anabolic adaptation. Due to its high satiety value, the regular addition of supplemented dietary protein could plausibly displace other key macronutrients such as carbohydrate in an athlete’s diet. This effect will be influenced by the form and dose of protein. Researchers assessed the impact of liquid whey protein dose manipulation on subjective sensations of appetite and food intake in a cohort of athletes. Ten male athletes who performed both resistance and aerobic (endurance) training were recruited. In four counter-balanced testing sessions they consumed a manipulated whey protein supplement (20, 40, 60 or 80 g protein) 1 hour after a standardised breakfast. Subsequent energy intake was measured 3 hours after the protein supplement using an ad libitum test meal. At the end of the study,  all conditions resulted in a significant decrease in ratings of hunger at the time of supplement consumption. However, there were no significant differences between the conditions at any time point for subjective appetite sensations or for energy consumed in the ad libitum meal.

In conclusion, increasing whey protein supplement dose above 20 g did not result in a measurable increase in satiety or decrease in food intake. However, the inclusion of additional whey protein supplementation where not otherwise consumed could plausibly reduce dietary intake.

  • Whey protein is beneficial for muscle protein synthesis and highly satiating.
  • Whey protein dose (20, 40, 60 and 80 g) did not differently affect satiety response.
  • There was a trend for incremental lessened increases in hunger on lower doses.
  • Adding whey protein between meals could down-regulate subsequent food intake.

MacKenzie-Shalders, Kristen, et al. “The effect of a whey protein supplement dose on satiety and food intake in resistance training athletes.” Appetite (2015).

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