Short-Term Protein Supplementation Does Not Alter Energy Intake, Macronutrient Intake and Appetite in 50–75 Year Old Adults

Esme, Daniel Green, Emma J. Stevenson, Thomas R. Hill, Bernard M. Corfe, Elizabeth Williams

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Ageing is associated with a reduction in muscle mass and strength, termed sarcopenia. Dietary protein is important for the maintenance of muscle mass through the promotion of muscle protein synthesis. However, protein is also reported to be a highly satiating nutrient. This raises concerns that protein intake for musculoskeletal health reasons in older adults may exacerbate age-related decreased appetite and may result in reduced energy and nutrient intake. This study aimed to investigate the effect of short-term protein supplementation and its timing (morning vs. evening), on energy and nutrient intake and appetite measures in middle-older age adults. Twenty-four 50–75 year olds were recruited to a randomised cross-over trial. In phase 1 (pre-supplementation) participants completed a food diary and reported hunger and appetite on three alternate days. During the second and third phases, participants consumed a 20 g whey protein gel (78 mL/368 kJ), for four days, either in the morning (after breakfast) or the evening (before bed), whilst completing the same assessments as phase 1. No differences in dietary intakes of energy, macronutrients and micronutrients were recorded when comparing the pre-supplementation phase to the protein supplementation phases, irrespective of timing (excluding the contribution of the protein supplement itself). Similarly, no differences were observed in self-reported feelings of hunger and appetite. In conclusion, a 20 g/day whey protein supplement given outside of meal-times did not alter habitual dietary intakes, hunger or appetite in this middle-older age adult population in the short-term. This approach may be a useful strategy to increasing habitual protein intake in the middle-older age population.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2021

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Copyright © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (


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