What to eat before bed according to your goal
If what to eat before and after training is the most common question, what to eat before bed is close by.
We are going to address this topic and show you the different options you have available.
First of all, this article is aimed at people who are looking to improve their body composition, either by increasing muscle mass or losing fat.
Furthermore, let's assume that the meal before bed is not dinner, but the next meal.
If you have dinner and go to sleep right away, this is not the ideal item for you, but you can get some ideas.
If you're in the habit of having a meal before bed, you've come to the right place.
If you're in doubt, read on.
To eat or not to eat?
This meal is not mandatory, and dinner can be your last meal of the day, as long as:
- Reach the daily macronutrient values needed for your goal.
- Include a quality protein source in this meal.
So when does this bedtime meal make sense?
- When the time between dinner and going to sleep is great.
- When the risk of waking up hungry during the night is high.
- When you haven't reached the daily values needed to reach your goals.
This article will be divided into what DEVES eat, and what PODS eat before bed.
They're two different things, and you'll see why.
We have also added some practical examples and a few more observations to make your work easier.
What you MUST eat before bed
What you should eat before bed is simple: Protein.
No matter how many theories, methods and ideas you follow, no one will tell you to eliminate protein from this meal.
Whether the goal is to gain muscle, lose fat or maintain.
The only people who should eliminate protein from this meal are those who want to lose muscle, so if you're looking to make a career in Walking Dead, eliminate protein from this meal (and all others).
While the amount of protein to use will always depend on the diet itself, somewhere between 20g and 40g of protein will generally be optimal.
Now, which protein sources should you use?
- Lean fresh cheese
- Cottage cheese
- Quark cheese
These are the main sources of protein that you should bet on this meal.
Just this? Can't I eat anything else?
We do not include meat and fish for one reason: Convenience.
A lot of people just don't want to go to the trouble of preparing such a meal, or don't feel like consuming it at this point.
Also, a steak dish in this meal is too heavy.
That doesn't mean they can't be used here, they're excellent choices, but a casein shake or cottage cheese is more practical.
THE casein it is the main protein in cheeses, and in milk, and it is a good choice as it is a (very) slow absorbing protein.
You powdered casein supplements are also common and good bets.
If for some reason casein/cheese is not an option, eggs are a good choice, as is a can of tuna (Yes, tuna is a fish, we know).
You know, before going to sleep, use a protein source.
Don't make it up.
WHAT YOU CAN EAT BEFORE YOU SLEEP
THE protein it's a simple, effective, and error-free choice before bed.
If you're pointed at a gun, and you only have to choose one macronutrient before bed, choose protein.
But what about carbohydrates? And the fats?
Both carbohydrates and fats can be used in this meal for better results.
Carbohydrates before bed?
Fats before bed?
Let's break them down and explain the advantages and disadvantages, and when they should and shouldn't 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 some extra calories in their diet, the simplest way is through fat.
In addition, they play an important hormonal role, delay digestion, which is great before bedtime, and help control appetite.
What fat sources should you use?
- Dry fruits
- Fish oil
- Dry fruits
- Peanut butter
- Dry fruits
Dried fruit three times?
They are a healthy, tasty and satisfying source of fat.
Fats will delay the absorption of protein, prevent you from having a hunger attack at night and ensure the normal functioning of the hormonal system.
If you use eggs with your meal before bed, don't forget that yolks are 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 already consumed the daily carbohydrates you need?
If not, there is no problem using them here, especially when the objective is to increase muscle mass.
Another example where carbohydrates can be used:
You trained at 8pm, had dinner at 9pm and went to bed at 11.30pm.
Carbohydrates here, in certain situations, can be beneficial, mainly in glycogen replacement.
Also, it's easier to fall asleep when you put carbohydrates in this meal.
In conclusion, if you train late, and only eat one to two meals after training, you can add carbohydrates to this meal to help you with your recovery.
If you train early in the morning, carbohydrates here can also be useful.
Factors to take into account:
- Total daily consumption
Now, don't kid yourself.
If protein is the number one nutrient when it comes to what to eat before bed, carbohydrates in most cases are number three, and if you eliminate any, carbohydrates are usually the first to go.
The timing of nutrient intake is always less important than total daily intake.
Then, depending on your goal, you can make some adjustments to achieve better results.
- 200g fresh lean cheese
- 30g casein
- 5 egg whites + 1 egg yolk
- 25g casein + 15g dried fruit
We do not include carbohydrates here, as there are few cases in which this nutrient brings real benefits, specifically consumed in this meal, when the objective is to lose fat.
In addition, dry fruits and low-fat fresh cheese contain small amounts of carbohydrates.
The ideal fat loss in this meal always involves:
- 1st Protein
- 2nd Protein + Fat
A key factor to take into account is appetite.
While consuming only protein at this meal is great, it isn't if it means starvation, and a consequent unwanted meal in the middle of the night.
If drinking just one casein shake before bed means waking up in the middle of the night to raid the fridge, add something to that meal.
In the meal before going to bed, not the night attack.
Gain muscular mass
- 200g lean fresh cheese + 30g dried fruit
- 5 egg whites + 2 yolks + 2 fish oil capsules
- 30g casein + 30g oats + 2 fish oil capsules
Here, although it is feasible to consume only protein, when the objective is to gain muscle mass, the increase in calories is necessary.
Putting fat or carbohydrate sources here, or both, will simply increase calories.
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.
Police and Carbohydrates
In this study78 police officers were separated into two groups.
One of the groups ingested most of the carbohydrates in the evening.
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 ate the most carbohydrates at night not only lost more weight, but also had a superior hormonal response.
casein before bed
In this study, one group received 40g of casein at bedtime, while the other group did not.
The results showed that this meal with 40g of casein before bed, promoted protein synthesis and recovery during the night.
Observation. It is normal for protein intake to promote this response, the question here would be whether casein achieved a superior response or not. However, it does not change the above recommendations.
What to eat before bed, conclusion
The objective of eating before bed 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 thing is the total consumption of nutrients throughout the day, and a good meal before bedtime is of little use if the rest of the day is weak.
That said, consuming 20g to 40g of protein at this meal is usually a safe bet, regardless of the goal.
In addition to protein consumption, fats, carbohydrates or both can be added.
Consuming protein and fat is usually the best option, but eating protein and carbohydrates, or even all 3 macronutrients, can be beneficial in certain situations.
For example, people with a very fast metabolism and looking to gain muscle mass.
If you want to know more about what to eat to gain muscle, 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 regarding this topic, use the comments area below.