Sugary drink with meals: calories burn less well and weight increases

Combining sugary drinks with a protein-rich meal is not a good idea for weight control. The duo would disturb the energy balance and reduce the oxidation of fats in subjects of normal weight.

The brain mishandles signals related to excess caloric intake in liquid form. Several studies have shown parallelisms between the evolution of the consumption of sugary drinks and the progression of obesity, without, however, making it possible to establish a causal link. According to a USDA study, drinking sugar and eating protein at the same time will lead to weight gain.

Drink sweetened at the table or water

The authors recruited 27 adults of healthy weight, average age 23, who participated in 2 experiments one week apart, evaluated in a calorimetric chamber. During the first, they consumed a sugary drink with a standard protein meal (15% of energy intake) or a high protein meal (30%). In the second, the meals were accompanied by an unsweetened drink. They were all composed of the same foods, provided 17 g of fat and were adjusted in calories, by modulating carbohydrate intake.

As expected, increased protein concentrations decreased hunger, appetite for fatty and salty foods, and increased satiety in the hours following the experiment, especially in women. In men, these markers were significantly lower.

Fats burn less well

The most important lesson of the study comes with calorimetry. The inclusion of a sugary drink reduced postprandial thermogenesis by an average of 2.4% and fat oxidation by 8%. The dose of protein consumed also matters.

In the standard meal, the reduction in fat oxidation corresponds to 7.2g on average. In the protein-rich meal, it is 12.6g. Adding a sugary drink therefore impacts the 2 components of the energy equation.

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For caloric intake, the extra energy from the sugary drink did not increase stiety. For expenditure, extra calories were not eliminated and fat oxidation was reduced.


Casperson SL: Postprandial energy metabolism and substrate oxidation in response to the inclusion of a sugar or non-nutritive sweetened beverage with meals differing in protein content. BMC Nutrition Volume 3, Number 1, Page 1.

* The information and services available on pressesante.com in no way replace the consultation of competent health professionals. [HighProtein-Foods.com]

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