Sitting down to a high-protein meal can help support muscle mass maintenance and exercise recovery. But cracking open a sugar-sweetened beverage at that meal can have a dramatic impact on energy balance and fat storage. A study published in the journal BMC Nutrition
shows what can happen.
On separate occasions, 27 healthy weight men and women in their early 20s ate a 500 calorie breakfast and lunch with 15% of the calories coming from protein and 17 grams of fat. Next time, breakfast and lunch had 30% of the calories from protein. With a reduction in carbohydrates, these meals also totaled 500 calories with 17 grams of fat.
A sugar sweetened beverage caused an average 7.2 gram decrease in fat oxidation with the 15% protein meals. The decrease in fat oxidation was 12.6% with the 30% protein meals. Researchers suspect this drop in metabolic efficiency might prime the body to store more fat.