Relationship Between Protein Intake in Each Traditional Meal and Physical Activity: Cross-sectional Study

Takae Shinto, Saneyuki Makino, Yu Tahara, Lie Nitta, Mai Kuwahara, Ayako Tada, Nanako Abe, Mikiko Michie, Shigenobu Shibata*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Protein intake plays an important role in the synthesis and maintenance of skeletal muscles for the prevention of health risks. It is also widely known that physical activity influences muscle function. However, no large-scale studies have examined the relationship between daily dietary habits, especially the timing of protein intake, and daily physical activity. Objective: The purpose of this cross-sectional study was to investigate how protein intake and composition (involving the 3 major nutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrate) in the 3 traditional meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) are associated with physical activity. Methods: Using daily dietary data accumulated in the smartphone food log app “Asken” and a web-based cross-sectional survey involving Asken users (N=8458), we analyzed nutrient intake and composition, as well as daily activity levels. As very few individuals skipped breakfast (1102/19,319 responses, 5.7%), we analyzed data for 3 meals per day. Results: Spearman rank correlation analysis revealed that breakfast and lunch protein intakes had higher positive correlations with daily physical activity among the 3 major macronutrients (P<.001). These findings were confirmed by multivariate logistic regression analysis with confounding factors. Moreover, participants with higher protein intake and composition at breakfast or lunch tended to exhibit significantly greater physical activity than those with higher protein intake at dinner (P<.001). Conclusions: Among the 3 macronutrients, protein intake during breakfast and lunch was closely associated with daily physical activity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere35898
JournalJMIR Public Health and Surveillance
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes


  • chrononutrition
  • dietary pattern
  • physical activity
  • protein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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