Know what you should eat before bed
If what you eat before and after training is the most common doubt, what you eat before bed is nearby.
We will discuss this topic and show you the various options you have available.
First of all, this article is aimed at people looking to improve their body composition, whether through increased muscle mass or fat loss.
In addition, let's assume that the meal before bed is not dinner, but rather the next meal.
If you have dinner and you're going to sleep right after, this isn't the right article for you, but you can get some ideas.
If you have a habit of having a meal before bed, you've come to the right place.
If you're in doubt, keep reading.
Eat or not eat?
This meal is not mandatory, and dinner can be your last meal of the day, provided that:
- Achieve the daily macronutrient values needed for your goal.
- Include a source of quality protein in this meal.
So when does this before-bed meal make sense?
- When the time between dinner and going to sleep is great.
- When the risk of waking up at night hungry is high.
- When you haven't reached the daily values you need to achieve your goals.
This article will be divided into what YOU MUST eat, and what YOU CAN eat.
It's two different things, and you're going to understand why.
We've also added some practical examples and a few more comments to make your job easier.
What YOU SHOULD eat before bed
What you should eat in this meal is simple: Protein.
No one will tell you to eliminate the protein from this meal.
Be the goal of gaining muscle, losing fat or maintaining.
The only people who should eliminate the protein from this meal are those who want to lose muscle, so if you want to make a career in the Walking Dead, eliminate the protein from this meal (and all the others).
Although the value of protein to be used always depends on the diet itself, something between 20g and 40g of protein will generally be optimal.
Now, what sources of protein should you use?
- Slim fresh cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Quark cheese
These are the main sources of protein you should bet on this meal.
We don't include meat and fish for one reason: convenience.
A lot of people just don't want to have the trouble of preparing such a meal, or don't want to consume it by now.
In addition, a plate of picanha in this meal is too heavy.
This does not mean that they cannot be used here, they are excellent choices, but a casein shake or cottage cheese are more practical.
Casein is the main protein of cheeses, and milk, and is a good choice since it is a (very) slow absorption protein.
Powdered casein supplements are also common and good bets.
If for some reason casein/cheese is not an option, eggs are a good choice, such as a can of tuna(Yes, tuna is a fish, we know).
You know, before bed, use a source of protein.
Don't make it up.
What YOU CAN Eat
Protein is a simple, effective and without much margin of error before bedtime.
If they point a gun at you, and you have to choose only one macronutrient before bed, choose the protein.
But what about the carbohydrates? What about the fats?
Both carbohydrates and fats can be used in this meal for better results.
Carbohydrates before bed?
Fats before bed?
We will separate them and explain the advantages and disadvantages, and when they should and should not be used.
The fats in the meal before bed can be a good bet, especially for those who want to gain muscle mass.
This is the nutrient with the highest caloric density, with each gram containing 9kcal.
This means that for those looking to put extra calories into the diet, the simplest way is through fat.
In addition they play an important role in the hormonal level, delay digestion, which before bed is optimal, and help control appetite.
What sources of fat should you use?
- Dried fruits
- Fish oil
- Dried fruits
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruits
Dried fruit three times?
They are a source of healthy, tasty and satiating fat.
Fats will delay protein absorption, prevent you from having a hunger attack at night and ensure the normal functioning of the hormonal system.
If you use eggs in your meal before bed, don't forget that yolks count as a source of fat.
Finally, although carbohydrates are generally the least important nutrient of the three in this meal, they can also be used, and sometimes beneficially.
Carbohydrates before bed?!
The most important thing to take into account here is, have you consumed the daily carbohydrates you need?
If not, there is no problem in using them here, especially when the goal is to increase muscle mass.
Another example where carbohydrates can be used:
You trained at 8:00, you had dinner at 9:00 and you're going to bed at 11:30.
Carbohydrates here, in certain situations, can be beneficial, especially in glycogen replacement.
In addition, it is easier to fall asleep when putting carbohydrates in this meal.
In conclusion, if you train late, and only have one to two meals after training, you can put carbohydrates in this meal to help you with your recovery.
If you train early in the morning, carbohydrates here can also be of use.
Factors to be taken into account:
- Total daily consumption
Now, don't kid yourself.
If protein is the number one ingredient for this meal, carbohydrates in most cases are number three, and eliminating some, carbohydrates are usually the first to jump.
The timing of nutrient intake is always less important than total daily intake.
Then, depending on your goal, you can make some adjustments to get better results.
- 200g lean fresh cheese
- 30g casein
- 5 egg whites + 1 yolk
- 25g casein + 15g dried fruit
We do not include carbohydrates here, because there are few cases where this nutrient brings real benefits, consumed specifically in this meal, when the goal is to lose fat.
In addition, dried fruits and lean fresh cheese contain small amounts of carbohydrates.
The ideal in fat loss in this meal always goes through:
2nd Protein + Fat
A key factor to take into account is appetite.
Although the consumption of only protein in this meal is optimal, it ceases to be if it means hunger, and a consequent undesirable meal in the middle of the night.
If you drink just one casein shake before bed, it's synonymous with waking up in the middle of the night to attack the fridge, adds something to that meal. Before bed, not the night attack.
Gain muscle mass
- 200g fresh lean cheese + 30g dried fruit
- 5 egg whites + 2 egg yolks + 2 fish oil capsules
- 30g casein + 30g oats + 2 capsules fish oil
Here although it is feasible to consume only protein, when the goal is to gain muscle mass, increased calories is necessary.
Putting here sources of fats or carbohydrates, or both, will increase calories simply.
If your workout was close to this meal, you can add carbohydrates to help with recovery, although it's not mandatory.
In other cases, usually a combination of proteins and fats is the ideal choice.
Cops and carbohydrates
In this study, 78 police officers were separated into two groups.
One of the groups ingested most of the carbohydrates at night.
In the other group carbohydrates were consumed throughout the day.
The number of calories at the end of the day was identical, as was the nutrient ratio.
The group that ingested most of the carbohydrates at night not only lost more weight, but had a higher hormonal response.
Casein before bed
In this study, one group received 40g of casein before bedtime, while the other group did not.
The results showed that this meal with 40g of casein before bedtime promoted protein synthesis and recovery at night.
The purpose of this meal will always be to achieve a better recovery, promote protein synthesis and also to control appetite, which will avoid unnecessary mistakes.
Again, the most important is the total intake of nutrients throughout the day, and of little serves a good meal before bed, if the rest of the day is weak.
That said, the consumption of 20g to 40g of protein in this meal is usually a safe bet, regardless of the goal.
In addition to protein intake, fats, carbohydrates or both can be added.
The consumption of proteins and fats is usually the best option, but the intake of proteins and carbohydrates, or even the 3 macronutrients, can be beneficial in certain situations, especially in people with a very fast metabolism and looking for muscle mass gain.
If you want to know more about what to eat to gain muscle mass, check out our article What to Eat to gain muscle mass.
If on the other hand you want to lose fat, take a look at the article What to eat to lose fat.
If you still have any questions about this topic, use the comments area below.