Emerging research suggests that redistributing total protein intake from 1 high-protein meal/d to multiple moderately high-protein meals improves 24-h muscle protein synthesis. Over time, this may promote positive changes in body composition.
To assess the effects of within-day protein intake distribution on changes in body composition during dietary energy restriction and resistance training.
Body composition was measured pre- and postintervention.
Over time, whole-body mass (least-squares mean ± SE: −7.9 ± 0.6 kg), whole-body lean mass (−1.0 ± 0.2 kg), whole-body fat mass (−6.9 ± 0.5 kg), appendicular lean mass (−0.7 ± 0.1 kg), and appendicular fat mass (−2.6 ± 0.2 kg) each decreased. The midthigh muscle area (0 ± 1 cm2) did not change over time, whereas the midcalf muscle area decreased (−3 ± 1 cm2). Within-day protein distribution did not differentially affect these body-composition responses.
The effectiveness of dietary energy restriction combined with resistance training to improve body composition is not influenced by the within-day distribution of protein when adequate total protein is consumed.