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Whey protein consumption following fasted exercise reduces early postprandial glycaemia in centrally obese males: a randomised controlled trial

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dean AllertonORCiD, Dr Daniel WestORCiD, Professor Emma Stevenson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Purpose: Acute submaximal exercise and whey protein supplementation have been reported to improve postprandial metabolic and appetite responses to a subsequent meal independently. We aimed to examine the combination of these strategies on postprandial responses to a carbohydrate-rich breakfast.Methods: Twelve centrally obese males (age 41 ± 3 years, waist circumference 123.4 ± 2.9 cm), completed three trials in a single-blind, crossover design. Participants rested for 30 min (CON) or completed 30 min low-moderate-intensity treadmill walking (51 ± 1% [Formula: see text]) followed immediately by ingestion of 20 g whey protein (EX + PRO) or placebo (EX). After 15 min, a standardised breakfast was consumed and blood, expired gas and subjective appetite were sampled postprandially. After 240 min, an ad libitum lunch meal was provided to assess energy intake.Results: During EX + PRO, post-breakfast peak blood glucose was reduced when compared with EX and CON (EX + PRO: 7.6 ± 0.4 vs EX: 8.4 ± 0.3; CON: 8.3 ± 0.3 mmol l-1, p ≤ 0.04). Early postprandial glucose AUC0-60 min was significantly lower under EX + PRO than EX (p = 0.011), but not CON (p = 0.12). Over the full postprandial period, AUC0-240 min during EX + PRO did not differ from other trials (p > 0.05). Peak plasma insulin concentrations and AUC0-240 min were higher during EX + PRO than CON, but similar to EX. Plasma triglyceride concentrations, substrate oxidation and subjective appetite responses were similar across trials and ad libitum energy intake was not influenced by prior fasted exercise, nor its combination with whey protein supplementation (p > 0.05).Conclusion: Following fasted low-moderate-intensity exercise, consuming whey protein before breakfast may improve postprandial glucose excursions, without influencing appetite or subsequent energy intake, in centrally obese males.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Allerton DM, West DJ, Stevenson EJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Nutrition

Year: 2021

Volume: 60

Pages: 999-1011

Print publication date: 01/03/2021

Online publication date: 22/06/2020

Acceptance date: 08/06/2020

Date deposited: 08/12/2020

ISSN (print): 1436-6207

ISSN (electronic): 1436-6215

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s00394-020-02304-2

PubMed id: 32572617


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Northumbria University