Sugary drinks and protein do a fat lot of good
Sugary drinks and high protein meals make a highly unhealthy combination, new research suggests.
Consuming the two together impairs energy balance and causes the body to get fatter, say American scientists.
Dr Shanon Casperson, from the US Department of Agriculture, said: "We found that about a third of the additional calories provided by the sugar-sweetened drinks were not expended, fat metabolism was reduced, and it took less energy to metabolise the meals.
"This decreased metabolic efficiency may prime the body to store more fat."
A sugar-sweetened drink combined with a meal containing 15pc protein reduced the amount of fat oxidised in the body by 7.2 grams on average, the study showed.
Fat oxidation kick-starts the breakdown of fat molecules so less fat is stored.
Combining a sugary drink with a 30pc protein meal reduced fat oxidation by 12.6 grams.
While the sugar provided more available energy for metabolism, this was cancelled out by the additional calories in the drink.