Within-day protein distribution does not influence body composition responses during weight loss in resistance-training adults who are overweight

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background: Emerging research suggests that redistributing total protein intake from 1 high-protein meal/d to multiple moderately high-protein meals improves 24-h muscle protein synthesis. Over time, this may promote positive changes in body composition. Objective: We sought to assess the effects of within-day protein intake distribution on changes in body composition during dietary energy restriction and resistance training. Design: In a randomized parallel-design study, 41 men and women [mean ± SEM age: 35 ± 2 y; body mass index (in kg/m2): 31.5 ± 0.5] consumed an energy-restricted diet (750 kcal/d below the requirement) for 16 wk while performing resistance training 3 d/wk. Subjects consumed 90 g protein/d (1.0 ± 0.03 g · kg-1 · d-1, 125% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance, at intervention week 1) in either a skewed (10 g at breakfast, 20 g at lunch, and 60 g at dinner; n = 20) or even (30 g each at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; n = 21) distribution pattern. Body composition was measured pre- and postintervention. Results: Over time, whole-body mass (least-squares mean ± SE: -7.9 ± 0.6 kg), whole-body lean mass (-1.0 ± 0.2 kg), wholebody fat mass (-6.9 ± 0.5 kg), appendicular lean mass (-0.7 ± 0.1 kg), and appendicular fat mass (-2.6 ± 0.2 kg) each decreased. The midthigh muscle area (0 ± 1 cm2) did not change over time, whereas the midcalf muscle area decreased (-3 ± 1 cm2). Withinday protein distribution did not differentially affect these bodycomposition responses. Conclusion: The effectiveness of dietary energy restriction combined with resistance training to improve body composition is not influenced by the within-day distribution of protein when adequate total protein is consumed. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials. gov as NCT02066948.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1190-1196
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017



  • Exercise
  • Heart health
  • Muscle mass
  • Protein patterning
  • Weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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