Whey protein supplementation 2 hours after a lower protein breakfast restores plasma essential amino acid availability comparable to a higher protein breakfast in overweight adults

Joshua L. Hudson, Douglas Paddon-Jones, Wayne W. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Amino acids from meals peak in the plasma at ~180 minutes postprandial. Conversely, amino acids from rapidly digestible whey protein appear in the plasma within 15 minutes and peak at 60 minutes postprandial. Therefore, we hypothesized that consuming a 20-g whey protein snack 2 hours after a standard mixed-macronutrient, lower protein breakfast (10 g) would result in peak and composite postprandial plasma essential amino acid (EAA) responses that were not different from consuming a 30-g protein breakfast alone. Using a randomized, crossover design, 12 subjects (6 men, 6 women; age: 29 ± 1 y; BMI: 26.0 ± 1.0 kg/m2; mean ± SE) completed three 330-minute trials in which they consumed breakfasts containing (i) 10 g of protein (10-PRO, control), (ii) 30 g of protein (30-PRO), and (iii) 10 g of protein followed by 20 g of whey protein isolate 120 minutes later (10/20-PRO). For both 30-PRO and 10/20-PRO, EAA peaked 180 minutes after breakfast, with greater peak concentrations for 10/20-PRO than 30-PRO (Tukey adjusted, P < .0001). Essential amino acid positive incremental areas under the curve (iAUCpos) over 300 minutes were not different between 30-PRO and 10/20-PRO. Consuming a rapidly digested whey protein snack 2 hours after a slowly digested, lower protein breakfast resulted in a greater peak plasma EAA concentration but comparable plasma EAA availability than consuming a single higher protein breakfast.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
JournalNutrition Research
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017



  • Dietary proteins
  • Dietary supplements
  • Postprandial plasma amino acids
  • Snacks
  • Whey proteins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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