Maintaining adequate daily protein intake is important to maintain muscle mass throughout the lifespan. In this regard, the overnight period has been identified as a window of opportunity to increase protein intake in the elderly. However, it is unknown whether pre-sleep protein intake affects next-morning appetite and, consequently, protein intake. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of a pre-sleep protein drink on next-morning appetite, energy intake and metabolism. Twelve older individuals (eight males, four females; age: 71.3 ± 4.2 years) took part in a single-blind randomised cross-over study. After a standardised dinner, participants consumed either a 40-g protein drink, isocaloric maltodextrin drink, or placebo water control before bedtime. Next-morning appetite, energy intake, resting metabolic rate (RMR), respiratory exchange rate (RER), and plasma acylated ghrelin, leptin, glucose, and insulin concentrations were assessed. No between-group differences were observed for appetite and energy intake at breakfast. Furthermore, RMR, RER, and assessed blood markers were not significantly different between any of the treatment groups. Pre-sleep protein intake does not affect next-morning appetite and energy intake and is therefore a viable strategy to increase daily protein intake in an older population.
Keywords: ageing; pre-sleep protein; sarcopenia.