Protein, Fibre & Body Composition

The contributory effects of dietary protein intake in muscle gain and recovery are well versed amongst research literature, specifically within the context of sports performance. What is also noted is that meals higher in protein increase satiety and the thermic effect of feeding in an acute setting. This has been demonstrated in marginal increases in overall daily consumption of 20% to 30% of total protein intake (1). That is, thermic demands (the amount of energy used to breakdown and utilize nutrients) is the highest in protein, of all macronutrients. Of the 20 different amino acids, nine are considered “essential”, that is, the body cannot produce these, so it is imperative to source these from food.

Animal-based protein sources are the most similar to our own, therefore substrate amino acids derived from animal sources are more readily available. That said, the combination, and inclusion in the diet of meat and plant-based proteins are important in a broader sense with regards to micro, as well as the macronutrient content of said foods within a healthy diet. Mixtures of plant proteins can serve as a complete and well-balanced source of amino acids for meeting human physiological requirements (2) and ingesting multiple protein sources provides a more balanced amino acid profile (3).

Role of high protein and fibre diets in fat loss

Most notable – reduces the desire to eat!!! Increasing satiety and feeling fuller for longer can assist in the pursuit of fat loss, allowing one to create a calorie deficit without dramatically reducing the amount of food consumed. This can alleviate cravings and hunger when in a caloric deficit. Diets higher in protein and dietary fibre can contribute towards fat loss. So making use of large servings of fibrous vegetables to bulk out and add volume to meals is essential, which can psychologically create the illusion that more food is being consumed.

Diets varied in protein sources and quality will assist in both muscle gain and fat loss pursuits. However, it should be noted that in an acute sense, only one can be achieved at a time, ie, fat loss requires a caloric deficit (calorie intake is less than the body requires to meet physical demands) and muscle gain requires a caloric surplus (calorie intake is more than the body requires to meet physical demands).

The above noted, diets that are high in protein without the accompanying fibre can potentially lead to ‘slowing’ of digestion and nutrient turnover. Dietary fibre is considered the most abundant organic molecule on earth and so there is no reason that this essential nutrient should be avoided within a healthy diet (4). The inclusion of dietary fibre therefore has hugely important implications for the workings of a healthy body. PhD’s Protein Superfood supplement, due to it’s plant-based formula, makes an ideal alternative to whey products for lactose intolerant individuals and/or vegans seeking a high plant based protein product with the added fibre, and vitamin and mineral content.


  1. Li J., Armstrong CL., Campbell WW. Effects of Dietary Protein Source and Quantity During Weight Loss on Appetite, Energy Expenditure, and Cardio-Metabolic Responses. Nutrients. 2016 Jan 26;8(2)
  2. Young VR, Pellett PL. Plant proteins in relation to human protein and amino acid nutrition. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994 May; 59(5) 1203S-1212.
  3. Vliet SV, Burd NA, van Loon LJC. The Skeletal Muscle Anabolic Response to Plant versus Animal-Based Protein Consumption. J. Nutr. 2015 Sep; 145(9) 1981-91.
  4. Antonio J, Kalman D, Stout JR, Greenwood M, Willoughby DS, Haff GG. 2008. Essentials of Sports Nutrition and Supplements. Humana Press. Totowa.

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