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Whey Protein-Based Meal Replacement Enhances Body Composition Responses To Resistance Training

Posted in..: Research & Development
Feb 9, 2008
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The use of meal replacements to assist in weight management have been examined in several studies. Meal replacements can include shakes, powders, or bars that replace a normal meal. They are easy to use, require little if any preparation, and most important they provide structure to the daily eating plan. It is estimated that as many as 15% of adults are using meal replacements as a strategy for losing weight. In the longest study to date " 5 years, overweight subjects who consumed a meal replacement shake lost weight (about 10 pounds) compared to a group of control subjects who gained about 15 pounds over the same period. Other controlled studies of shorter duration have shown that meal replacements can assist in weight loss. Experts generally agree that the value of meal replacements is that it changes behavior, and for some people the structure of having a prepared meal provides the needed motivation to reduce calories and enhance weight loss. However, beyond motivation and other psychological aspects, there has been little attention paid to the nutritional composition of meal replacement products. Given the many benefits of whey protein, it could be hypothesized that a whey-based meal replacement would offer enhanced benefit. In fact a recent study confirmed this hypothesis. Researchers examined the potential of a whey based meal supplement consisting of 40 g protein (primarily from whey) consumed one time per day for 2 weeks and then two times per day for 8 more weeks to enhance body composition responses to training. Use of the supplement with no other dietary instructions resulted in an average 6 pound fat loss and 2 pound increase in fat free mass. The study provides evidence to support the use of a whey based nutritional supplement used as a meal replacement to enhance adaptations to resistance training.

Lockwood CM, Moon JR, Tobkin SE, Walter AA, Smith AE, Dalbo VJ, Cramer JT, Stout JR. Minimal nutrition intervention with high-protein/low-carbohydrate and low-fat, nutrient-dense food supplement improves body composition and exercise benefits in overweight adults: A randomized controlled trial. Nutr Metab (Lond). 2008 Apr 21;5(1):11 [Epub ahead of print]

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