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Sometimes you need an extra shake before bed to reach your protein goals for the day. But, in reality, can protein shakes before bed cause us to gain extra weight?
If the protein powder contains a high amount of sugar per scoop, then yes, it can make you get fat. If you are drinking an isolate protein powder or one without much sugar, then it is perfectly safe to drink a protein shake before bed.
Are protein shakes before bed bad for you?
Drinking a protein shake before bed can make all the difference for your body in terms of recovery. If you feel hungry or like you need an extra boost, you should not be afraid to drink a protein shake in the evening.
On the other hand, if your protein powder of choice contains a lot of added sugar, it might disrupt your sleeping pattern and even more make you gain fat because of the insulin spikes it will cause in your body.
Based on recent studies, pre-bed protein consumption does not make you fat, if it is low in sugar. Casein protein is an even better fit for that purpose than whey protein, since it takes much longer for casein to digest.
The only negative effect protein shakes before bed might have on you is to disrupt your sleep if they are high in sugar. Moreover, if you have consumed more than your daily intake needs, the protein might also be stored as fat.
What are the benefits of protein shakes before bed?
A recent study found that consuming protein shakes before bed for healthy older men might contribute to the recovery of muscle and decrease the loss of skeletal mass overtime. Consuming a low-sugar protein shake before bed increases post-workout recovery, as well as protein synthesis. This leads to improved strength, and increased lean mass gained overtime.
Protein shakes should almost never be used as a substitute for real meals, but if the case arises and you have no choice but to skip dinner, it is a good idea to at least supplement your body with a protein shake before bed. That scenario is acceptable, even when aiming to lose weight since higher protein intake leads to an accelerated metabolism rate.
FAQ about bedtime protein
When should you consume protein before bed?
If you are aiming to boost your metabolism levels, eating high protein food an hour before bedtime or consuming a low sugar protein shake might be a good idea. Speeding up muscle recovery is another goal. Protein shakes can help you if you are close to your daily intake goal, but not quite there.
Is it acceptable to drink protein shakes on an empty stomach?
Yes, you can consume protein shakes on an empty stomach and there is no scientific reason to think otherwise. However, protein shakes are insufficient to be consumed as a meal replacement and it is a good idea to add either fruits, fats or some carbs to the shake you are consuming.
Is going to bed hungry bad?
If you are eating well and you have a balanced diet, going to bed hungry is not an issue. If you actively avoid late-night snacks, you can promote weight-loss. If you are looking to boost your metabolism before bed though, consuming a casein protein shake would be a good idea.
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How Much Protein Should I Consume Before Bed?
Before bedtime is a good time to add some protein to your diet, because the body will use this extra energy source to burn calories all night long. Consuming too much protein before bed can cause one to gain weight, and many people do not realize that excess body fat is actually worse for you than excess carbs. When I was first trying to lose weight, I used to eat five large meals a day with four or five carbs in them. Once I reduced my daily carb intake, I noticed that my body did not use as much energy as it did before.
If you consume five to eight grams of carbs and twenty to forty grams of protein each day, then you should be getting enough fuel to perform all of your daily activities without gaining weight. One way to measure how many grams of protein you need is to divide the number of grams of carbs you eat by the number of grams of protein you consume. So, if you eat three grams of carbs and six grams of protein, you need about twenty grams of protein for an hour’s worth of sleep. This may seem like a lot of protein, but you can’t eat all of it at once because it would overwhelm your system.
If you want to find out how much protein you need for an hour’s worth of sleep, you can use a weight scale or a food diary to weigh yourself at night. Once you know your basal metabolic rate, you will be able to calculate how many grams of protein your body needs for a good night’s sleep. Then, you can simply add up all the grams of protein your body needs for one day, and this is how many grams of protein shakes you should be consuming before bed. Remember that your goal is to have enough protein to give you enough energy to wake up in the morning. Once you consume too much, you will feel tired all day long, and it may be more difficult for you to lose weight.