Do you work out with weights and do you want to lose fat? Drink your protein shakes with your meals
Fitness buffs, bodybuilders and other strenght athletes who want to build muscle mass can consume their protein shakes and bars just as well between meals as with meals. It does not matter, American nutrition scientists write in Nutrition Reviews. But if they want to reduce their fat mass, they are better off consuming their protein supplements with their meals.
The researchers, who are affiliated with Purdue University, collected 34 previously published trials, all of which had lasted longer than 6 weeks. In those trials, subjects aged 20 years or older had been working out with weights and using protein supplements. The impact of this approach on the participants' fat mass and lean body mass of this approach had been documented.
As far as the fat-free mass was concerned, it did not matter whether the subjects took their protein supplements between meals or with meals. But as far as the fat mass was concerned, things were different. According to the meta-analysis, intake of protein supplements with meals reduced the fat mass, while intake between meals had no effect.
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"The results from this systematic review provide novel information for individuals who choose to consume a protein supplement as part of their dietary pattern to promote body mass gain or improve body composition through fat mass reduction", write the researchers.
"Regardless of the timing of protein supplement intake in relation to meals, lean mass is likely to increase in response to resistance training."
"However, consuming protein supplements with meals, rather than between meals, may be a more effective dietary strategy to improve resistance training induced changes in body composition by reducing fat mass, which may be relevant for adults looking to improve their health status."
Nutr Rev. 2018 Apr 25. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy012. [Epub ahead of print].
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