Many studies have researched the effects of protein on the body and the potential impacts on weight and fat loss. It has been suggested that there may be many reasons for this, most notably the effect that consuming protein has on the feeling of fullness. Many popular healthy (and not so healthy!) brands now tout their products as having the ability to keep you fuller for longer, so why is this and is it true?
In order to validate this theory, researchers looked at the effects of protein on many hormones that have been said to have an impact on your appetite. Participants of the study were healthy women who were required to perform two tests on two different occasions. Each test involved each women consuming a drink that contained 327 calories.
Visit 1: On the first visit the 327 calorie drink comprised completely of carbohydrates.
Visit 2: On the second visit, some of the carbohydrates were replaced with 45g of protein
Over the following 2 hours, blood samples were taken from the participants and on both visits they were also required to consume a meal that consisted of mixed rice within this 2 hour period. Results showed that when the participants consumed the protein drink on the second visit, they consequently consumed significantly less food within the 2 hour period. On average, the group that consumed the carbohydrate drink on the first visit consumed a little more than 100 extra calories than the group that consumed the protein drink on the second visit within the 2 hour period after.
Getting into the science a bit more, various amino acids and hormones that are connected to satiety experienced a greater increase after the protein drink was consumed which contributed to this increased feeling of fullness.
So what does this mean? In a simple sense, it means that if you consume adequate amounts of good quality protein with each meal then you will maintain a feeling of satisfaction for longer. There are many benefits to feeling fuller for longer including making you less likely to reach for those unhealthy snacks in between meals.Grab a UFIT and pop it in your bag, brief case or glove box to beat hunger pangs when you’re out and about.
References: Chungchunlam SM, Henare SJ, sanesh S, Moughan PJ. Dietary whey protein influences plasma satiety-related hormones and plasma amino acids in normal-weight adult women. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Feb;69(2):179-86.