High-Protein Diet Plus Weight Training Improves Body Composition

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends a daily protein intake of 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. Active people might benefit from as much as 1.5 grams per kilogram. Jose Antonio from Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and colleagues, found that high protein intake (3.4 grams per kilogram of bodyweight per day) plus a periodized weight-training program for eight weeks showed greater decreases in bodyweight, percent fat and fat mass than a group consuming 2.3 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. There were no differences in fat-free mass (largely composed of muscle). Previous studies showed overfeeding protein without weight training did not alter body composition. The researchers concluded that intensely training athletes would benefit from protein intakes greater than two grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight per day. (Journal International Society Sports Nutrition, 13: 3, 2016)

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