Why Studies Favor Eating Protein All Day Long

Research indicate that eating protein for breakfast and throughout the day stimulates increased fat loss and muscle growth. We have all heard the old saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and more evidence is backing up this quote.

The typical morning meal, unfortunately is full of carbohydrates and low on protein. Researchers are spending more time looking at the effects of daily protein intake on skeletal muscle protein synthesis (MPS). A 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association reported “ingestion of sufficient dietary protein is a fundamental prerequisite for muscle protein synthesis and maintenance of muscle mass and function.”

A recent study conducted by the International Journal of Obesity showed significant evidence that consuming protein at breakfast successfully reduced fat and body weight.

Protein is just not for dinner anymore. Getting enough protein throughout the day ensures healthy muscle maintenance.

Eat Protein for Breakfast to Burn Fat

egg breakfast
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The 2015 pilot study published in the International Journal of Obesity examined the effects of low versus high protein breakfasts on adolescents who typically skipped meals and the impact on weight loss. There were 28 overweight participants aged 18 to 20 who were otherwise in good health. The teens skipped breakfast every weekday, however. The participants were split into two groups and over a 12-week period consumed a normal protein (NP) or high protein (HP) breakfast while being closely monitored.

The NP breakfast included 350 calories and 13g of protein making up 15% of the meal. The HP breakfast was also 350 calories, but with 35g of protein making up 40% of the meal. The research indicated an “improved glycemic control with HP breakfasts” which was linked to satiety, reduced over-eating, and increased weight and fat loss. The takeaway from this research is not to skip breakfast and include protein for increased fat burning and feelings of satisfaction.

Eat Protein for Muscle

Eat Protein for Muscle
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The study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association was specific to how eating quality protein is fundamental for muscle growth in the young and elderly. They were able to establish from earlier research that consuming a moderate serving of protein (113g of lean beef) had a substantial increase on muscle protein synthesis (MPS) in both age groups.

Researchers experimented with exaggerated protein intake (340g of lean beef) to find out if there was any further benefit to MPS (muscle growth). Results indicated that the exaggerated serving of lean beef did not further enhance MPS in both the young and older groups.

The takeaway from the research is to eat several normal-sized servings of quality protein throughout the day as an effective way to stimulate muscle growth. Normal sized portions will still give you adequate nutrients while also moderating your caloric intake.

Bonus Takeaway!

Eat protein for muscle growth
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Protein is an important macronutrient essential for muscle protein synthesis (MPS), muscle growth and function. Getting adequate amounts of protein throughout the day will stimulate fat loss and increase lean mass.

Starting the day out right with a sufficient amount of protein will ensure nutrients are being fed to your muscle throughout the day. Those challenging their body with a resistance training regimen may require more protein. 

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Article Sources
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  1. Wright CS, Zhou J, Sayer RD, Kim JE, Campbell WW. Effects of a High-Protein Diet Including Whole Eggs on Muscle Composition and Indices of Cardiometabolic Health and Systemic Inflammation in Older Adults with Overweight or Obesity: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Nutrients. 2018;10(7):946. doi:10.3390/nu10070946

  2. Symons TB, Sheffield-Moore M, Wolfe RR, Paddon-Jones D. A Moderate Serving of High-Quality Protein Maximally Stimulates Skeletal Muscle Protein Synthesis in Young and Elderly SubjectsJ Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(9):1582-1586. doi:10.1016/j.jada.2009.06.369

  3. Bauer LB, Reynolds LJ, Douglas SM, et al. A pilot study examining the effects of consuming a high-protein vs normal-protein breakfast on free-living glycemic control in overweight/obese “breakfast skipping” adolescentsInt J Obes (Lond). 2015;39(9):1421-1424. doi:10.1038/ijo.2015.101

  4. Stokes T, Hector AJ, Morton RW, McGlory C, Phillips SM. Recent Perspectives Regarding the Role of Dietary Protein for the Promotion of Muscle Hypertrophy with Resistance Exercise TrainingNutrients. 2018;10(2):180. doi:10.3390/nu10020180

  5. Carbone JW, Pasiakos SM. Dietary Protein and Muscle Mass: Translating Science to Application and Health BenefitNutrients. 2019;11(5):1136. doi:10.3390/nu11051136