Morning Versus Evening Short-Term Whey Protein Supplementation in Collegiate Athletes

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Jennifer B. Fields
Brittanie L. Lockard
Meghan K. Magee
Margaret T. Jones


Women athletes, Protein timing, Sleep, Fatigue, Soreness, Stress, Mood, Satiety


Introduction: Benefits of protein consumption are established, yet athletes often consume insufficient protein. The effect of protein supplementation timing on self- reported wellness measures (SRWM) is unknown. The purpose was to examine the effect of protein supplementation timing on overall protein intake and SRWM. Methods: Collegiate athletes (men: n=13; body mass: 76.1 ± 6.6 kg; body fat %: 14.8 ± 2.3%) (women: n=16; body mass: 72.5 ± 10.8 kg; body fat %: 24.9 ± 4.6%), defined as protein-insufficient (daily intake <1.5 g/kg body weight) participated. Protein supplementation occurred over two 2-week periods (morning, evening) separated by a 2-week washout. Daily SRWM (fatigue, soreness, sleep, stress, mood, energy, recovery, satiety) were collected. ANOVA assessed differences in total protein intake and SRWM measures across conditions. Spearman correlations assessed relationships between protein intake and SRWM.
Results: No sex difference existed in protein intake based on supplementation timing. Compared to baseline, morning and evening supplementation led to an increase (p<0.05) in absolute and relative protein intake for men and women. Satiety was increased during morning and evening conditions compared to washout for men (p=0.004) and women (p=0.012), but other SRWM did not differ. Correlations existed for relative protein intake and satiety (r=0.499, p<0.001) and stress (r=-0.321, p=0.019).
Conclusions: Protein supplementation enabled participants to achieve the recommended protein intake and provided a greater feeling of satiety. Satiety did not differ between morning and evening, providing flexibility as to when to ingest a daily supplement.

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