Different protein sources = different fat burning ability

Different protein sources = different fat burning ability
by Anthony Roberts

For anyone who keeps up with the more-lucrative, but less sexy, world of hospital-based protein supplements, Nestle (yeah, the chocolate people) have been leading the way for awhile. If you’ve gone to visit anyone with high-protein/calorie needs in the hospital over the past decade, you’ve probably seen a bottle of Boost or packet of Benecalorie. For all the talk about the medical industry I see in the sports nutrition world, I can honestly say that I’ve never personally been to a hospital who has used anything except a Nestle (or other big-brand-name) product. [I certainly never saw Met-Rx or Metamyosin, or MusclePharm, or expect to see Progenex in a hospital…and can’t imagine I ever will.]

Well, the boys over at Nestle have been doing their fair share of research into different protein sources, and found that whey protein is more thermogenic than either casein or soy. However, both soy and casein were more satiating than whey. This means you might elevate your metabolism more with whey, but be tempted to have your next meal more quickly. It’s a trade off, depending on how you look at it.

To be perfectly honest, I’m pretty sure that whey is a good protein source in most situations, but I’m also certain that it’s incredibly over-hyped.

Protein choices targeting thermogenesis and metabolism

1. Kevin J Acheson,
2. Anny Blondel-Lubrano,
3. Sylviane Oguey-Araymon,
4. Maurice Beaumont,
5. Shahram Emady-Azar,
6. Corinne Ammon-Zufferey,
7. Irina Monnard,
8. Stéphane Pinaud,
9. Corine Nielsen-Moennoz, and
10. Lionel Bovetto


Background: Dietary proteins stimulate thermogenesis and satiety more than does carbohydrate or fat; however, less is known about the differences between protein sources.

Objective: The objective was to determine the differential effects of 3 proteins on energy metabolism, satiety, and glucose control.

Design: Energy metabolism, satiety, and glucose control were measured in 23 lean, healthy subjects on separate occasions, before and 5.5 h after consumption of 4 isocaloric test meals in a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. Three meals consisting of 50% protein (whey, casein, or soy), 40% carbohydrate, and 10% fat and a fourth meal consisting of 95.5% carbohydrate were compared with a glucose meal that provided the same glucose load as the protein meals.

Results: The thermic effect was greater after the whey (14.4 ± 0.5%) than after the casein (12.0 ± 0.6%; P = 0.002) and soy (11.6 ± 0.5%; P = 0.0001) meals and was greater after the whey, casein, and soy meals than after the high-carbohydrate meal (6.6 ± 0.5%; P < 0.0001). Cumulative fat oxidation tended to be greater after the whey meal (16.2 ± 1.1 g) than after the soy meal (13.7 ± 1.0 g; P = 0.097) and was greater after the whey and soy meals than after the high-carbohydrate meal (10.9 ± 0.9 g; P < 0.05). The glycemic response to glucose was attenuated 32% by the proteins (P < 0.001) at the expense of a greater insulin response after whey than after glucose (154%; P = 0.02), casein (143%; P = 0.07), and soy (151%; P = 0.03). Subjective appetite sensations indicated that casein and soy were more satiating than whey (P < 0.01), but whey was more “liked” compared with casein and soy (P = 0.025 and P = 0.09, respectively). Conclusion: The results suggest that different protein sources could be used to modulate metabolism and subsequently energy balance.