26 Jun The Best Thing to Eat Before Bed

Man SleepingI’m back from this year’s annual Sports Nutrition Conference. What an incredible meeting this year.

So much great information was covered at this year’s ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) Conference, I’m not sure where to begin.

Let me start by telling you this.

If you exercise or are invloved in exercise or sport in any way, you should really care about sports nutrition.

The science of sports nutrition is amazing.

Sports nutrition will continue to grow and be recognized as a major area of nutrition, performance enhancement, and optimizing health for athletes and recreational exercisers.

For fat loss, increasing muscle hypertrophy, and improving performance, this is an area we all need to pay attention to.

So, where should I begin in breaking down all the incredible highlights?

I’ll start with one of the one of the 1st lectures I attended at this year’s meeting.

The first lecture I attended was titled “Chronobiological Eating: Do You Really Know What to Eat Before Bed?” and was presented by Dr. Michael Ormsbee, PhD.

Obviously, the question is what should you eat before bed, if you eat at all after dinner (which most of us do).

Think about it like this.

There is potentially a large “window of opportunity” to maximize our body chemistry if we eat the right type of food before bed.

Makes sense right?  I mean, if we are going to eat before bed, we want to make sure that food is working for us, not against us while we sleep.

Who should care about this topic?

How about athletes, recreational exercisers, and the weight loss population for starters.

There were some interesting studies presented which raised even more questions and this is still a highly debated topic.

But, with the current studies that have been conducted to date, it appears that eating protein before bed helps to increase protein sythnesis and increase net protein balance which is important for recovery, optimizing metabolism, and improving lean muscle.

The type of protein actually doesn’t seem to matter (whey, casein), but what does matter is that protein, not carbohydrates are better for your metabolism before bed.

This really shouldn’t be surprising at all because protein assists in elevating your metabolism.  We want to improve protein synthesis to help facilitate muscle growth.

A question around protein at night is the digestion and absorption.

Well, the data suggests that protein has been shown to be adequately digested and absorbed, even at night.

Final considerations for nocturnal eating are, of course, age, gender, and type of training.

Speaking of age, if you’re older, it may be even more important to consume protein at night to prevent the age related loss of muscle (sarcopenia).

How much protein?

20-25 grams of a quality protein source seems to be the general guideline.

Eating before bed?  Then then the bottom line is to make sure you have a quality protein before bed to promote muscle growth and maximize your metabolism while you sleep.

Look for more key learnings from this meeting coming up soon.  Lots and lots of great information from the thought leaders in sports nutrition.

Please share, retweet, or pass along to others to help us all stay educated and optimize our nutritional habits.

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