Accompanying a protein-rich meal with a sugary drink increases the accumulation of fat

I think that at this point everyone is clear (and if not, should) that consuming sugary drinks (yes, spark of happiness , I’m looking at you) is a bad idea as far as your health is concerned. Why? Here are ten reasons, to begin with.

If we focus on the metabolism, consuming sugary drinks can even eliminate or reduce the benefits of ingesting other groups of nutrients that are an advantage. That is what recent research suggests : making a high-protein meal accompanied by a sugary drink results in a greater accumulation of fat.

Proteins plus sugar, less calorie burn

The benefits of a protein-rich diet are well documented: proteins satiate us, accelerate our metabolism and decrease the need for energy intake. But is it still that way if the proteins reach our grateful stomach well watered with sugar?

To answer that question, the authors of the research recruited their volunteers and asked them to spend 24 hours in a metabolic chamber on two separate occasions. A metabolic chamber is a closed and controlled room that allows to determine how the body uses the nutrients of the food and how many calories it consumes by measuring the consumption of oxygen, the production of carbon dioxide and the excretion of nitrogen in the urine.

The nitrogen was the key on these observations, as it is a key component of proteins . By measuring how much is expelled when urinating, you can estimate how many proteins the body is consuming and, from there, correctly calculate the amount of carbohydrates and fats from breathing.

For the observations, the volunteers ate exactly the same during the day: in one, a diet with 15% protein, and in the other, 30%. At each meal they also took a sugary drink or a drink with artificial sweeteners. When finished, they were asked if they were hungry and what kind of food they wanted the most.

The results showed that ingesting a sugary drink with food significantly reduced the thermogenesis (heat production) associated with feeding, and that when the sugar drink was accompanied with a high protein meal, the combination of both reduced even more, until 40%, that thermogenesis, as well as the use of fats consumed to achieve it.

These results point to the impact on energy balance and the burning of fats in sugary drinks when they accompany food. One conclusion is that the metabolism is less efficient after one of these drinks, which increases the tendency to accumulate fat, and predisposes to obesity.

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