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Eat this before exercising to boost calorie burn

8/24 10:12:53
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New research shows that for some women, a high-protein meal followed by 30 minutes of moderate exercise is an effective way to burn calories.

“We looked at the effects of protein consumption alone on total energy expenditure, and protein consumption combined with exercise,” said lead researcher, Ashley Binns, a doctoral student in Kinesiology and Exercise Science at the University of Arkansas.

Eating protein prior to exercise increases calorie burn

Ten active college-age women of normal body weight participated in the study. For their testing sessions, they were given a high-protein meal, low-protein meal, or no food at all, before walking on a treadmill.

“We found that with exercise, there is a trend for a continued increase in caloric expenditure with higher protein consumption. Additionally, the consumption of the high- or low-protein meals resulted in greater energy expenditure than the fasted state. That means that eating prior to exercise does provide fuel to burn, making us more like an energy-burning machine.”

High-protein diets without exercise lead to muscle loss

Exercise was key to the study, Binns said, because high-protein diets without exercise can lead to muscle loss.

“With just a high-protein diet and no exercise, the body heats up to break down the protein, but what also happens is it breaks down muscle,” she said. “You have individuals who are losing weight on a high-protein diet because their metabolism is increasing. The body first burns fat, but then it also starts to burn muscle as fuel. We want to see individuals keep their muscle mass with a high-protein diet, so that they are more energy efficient.”

Recommended reading: Foods to eat before, during and after a workout

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