Timing of chocolate intake affects hunger, substrate oxidation, and microbiota: A randomized controlled trial
Eating chocolate in the morning or in the evening/at night, may differentially affect energy balance and impact body weight due to changes in energy intake, substrate oxidation, microbiota (composition/function), and circadian-related variables.
In a randomized controlled trial, postmenopausal females (n = 19) had 100 g of chocolate in the morning (MC), in the evening/at night (EC), or no chocolate (N) for 2 weeks and ate any other food ad libitum.
Our results show that 14 days of chocolate intake did not increase body weight.
Chocolate consumption decreased hunger and desire for sweets (P < .005), and reduced ad libitum energy intake by ~300 kcal/day during MC and ~150 kcal/day during EC (P = .01), but did not fully compensate for the extra energy contribution of chocolate (542 kcal/day).
EC increased physical activity by +6.9%, heat dissipation after meals +1.3%, and carbohydrate oxidation by +35.3% (P < .05). MC reduced fasting glucose (4.4%) and waist circumference (−1.7%) and increased lipid oxidation (+25.6%).
Principal component analyses showed that both timings of chocolate intake resulted in differential microbiota profiles and function (P < .05).
Heat map of wrist temperature and sleep records showed that EC induced more regular timing of sleep episodes with lower variability of sleep onset among days than MC (60 min vs 78 min; P = .028).
In conclusion, having chocolate in the morning or in the evening/night results in differential effects on hunger and appetite, substrate oxidation, fasting glucose, microbiota (composition and function), and sleep and temperature rhythms. Results highlight that the “when” we eat is a relevant factor to consider in energy balance and metabolism.
Date First published: 23 June 2021
Teresa Hernández-González and Rocío González-Barrio are contributed equally to this article.
This work was supported in part by Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MICINN) (SAF2017-84135-R) including FEDER co-funding; The Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia through the Seneca Foundation (20795/PI/18) and NIDDK R01DK105072 granted to M.G.; M.C.C. acknowledges the support from the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (MICINN) (RTI2018-097982-B-I00); F.A.J.L.S. was supported in part by NIH grants R01HL094806, R01HL118601, R01DK099512, R01DK102696, and R01DK105072 (to F.A.J.L.S.)
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