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Whey protein is quickly digested and absorbed resulting in a rapid increase in blood levels of amino acids.
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AndrotestIn addition to stimulating muscle protein synthesis, this flooding of amino acids may also decrease appetite. A recent series of studies has discovered that whey protein given before a meal decreases food intake. The most recent study confirms this effect and provides additional insight into the role of dose of whey protein required to elicit this effect.  In the first experiment subjects were tested on 4 separate occasions. On each visit, they consumed a standardized breakfast, and then at 10:45 am they received a 'pre-load' shake containing either a placebo (no calories) or one with 400 kcal consisting of varying levels of whey protein (13%, 25%, or 50%).  This corresponded to 0, 13, 25 and 50 grams of whey protein, respectively. Ninety minutes after the shake, they were provided a pasta-based lunch and asked to eat as much as they wished.  There was a step wise reduction in the number of calories consumed at lunch as the percentage of protein increased in the whey preload. The effect was stronger in men than women. For example, men decreased energy consumed at lunch by 450 kcal at the highest protein dose, whereas women only decreased energy by less than 200 kcal at the same protein level. The reason for the greater effect in men remains unclear, but regardless of gender both men and women consumed less energy when they were provided a whey protein drink 90 min prior to lunch.

  .  Astbury NM, Stevenson EJ, Morris P, Taylor MA, Macdonald IA. Dose-response effect of a whey protein preload on within-day energy intake in lean subjects. Br J Nutr. 2010 Sep 28:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]