Splanchnic and whole-body oxygen uptake, blood flow, and blood temperature were studied in 10 healthy subjects before and during 2 hours after oral ingestion of 900 kJ of fish protein. Indirect calorimetry and catheter techniques were used, including blood thermometry in arterial, pulmonary arterial, and hepatic venous blood. After the meal, pulmonary oxygen uptake increased from a basal value of 272 +/- 11 to 332 +/- 23 mL/min. During the first postprandial hour, splanchnic oxygen uptake increased from 62 +/- 5 to 93 +/- 9 mL/min (+50%, P < .05), thereby accounting for 62% +/- 17% of the simultaneous increase in whole-body oxygen consumption. During the second postprandial hour, splanchnic oxygen uptake increased no further, whereas in the extrasplanchnic tissues the oxygen consumption increased, now accounting for the entire simultaneous increase in pulmonary oxygen uptake. Cardiac output increased from basal 6.4 +/- 0.4 to 7.5 +/- 0.5 L/min. Splanchnic blood flow changed little while the arteriohepatic venous oxygen difference increased from 46 +/- 3 to 54 +/- 4 mL/L. Arterial and hepatic venous blood temperatures increased by almost 0.3 degrees C, reflecting a considerable accumulation of heat, indicating a conversion into a positive thermal balance. It is concluded that after protein ingestion, (1) oxygen uptake increases mainly in the splanchnic organs during the first hour, and thereafter exclusively in the extrasplanchnic tissues; (2) the blood flow increases mainly in extrasplanchnic tissues; and (3) the blood temperature increases almost linearly, indicating an upward adjustment of the temperature setpoint in the central thermosensors.