Onset of the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF): A randomized cross-over trial

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Background: The purpose of this investigation was to identify the onset of the thermic effect of feeding (TEF) after ingestion of a high carbohydrate (CHO) and a high protein (PRO) 1255 kJ (300 kcal) drink. Methods: Resting metabolic rate (RMR) and TEF were measured over 30-minute periods via indirect calorimetry using a ventilated hood technique. Eighteen subjects (7 men and 11 women) completed two randomized, double-blind trials. Data were collected in 1-minute measurement intervals. RMR was subtracted from TEF and the time of onset was obtained when two consecutive data points exceeded 5% and 10% of resting metabolic rate. Results: At 5% above RMR the onset of TEF for CHO was 8.4 6.2 minutes and was not different as compared to PRO, 8.6 5.2 minutes (p = 0.77). Likewise, no differences were found with a 10% increase above RMR: CHO, 14.1 7.5 min; PRO, 16.7 6.7 min (p = 0.36). Several subjects did not show a 10% increase within 30-min. Conclusion: We conclude that the onset of TEF is variable among subjects but is initiated within about 5 to 20-min for most subjects after ingestion of a 1255 kJ liquid meal. No differences were found between CHO or PRO liquid meals.




Scott, C. B., Fernandes, J., & Lehman, M. (2007). Onset of the Thermic Effect of Feeding (TEF): A randomized cross-over trial. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-4-24

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