Nighttime Nutrition: The Biggest Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

By on March 28, 2017

Different protein blends are better for different times of the day

Many fitness enthusiasts are guilty of letting poor nighttime nutrition habits hamper their gains. Here we discuss 4 of the most common mistakes and the best ways to avoid them to stay on track with your goals.

1. Avoiding Eating Carbs In The Evening

The Problem: It’s a common misconception that consuming carbohydrates too late in the evening can result in weight gain. The reality is that weight change is influenced by calories in and calories out over the course of a full day (24 hours) and not just overnight. Therefore, if your daily calories and carbohydrates are in line with your goals, then the time you eat will not be a factor in weight gain.

The Solution: You don’t need to fear evening carbs, especially if you train later in the day as post-workout carbs combined with a source of protein will help to kick start your recovery process. It has also been shown that consuming carbohydrates at night can leave you feeling more satiated (full) throughout the following day which further backs up the point that weight management is directly affected by calories surplus or deficit.

2. Not Consuming Enough Protein Before You Sleep

The Problem: If you are looking to maintain lean muscle during a fat-loss diet, then this can be a major stumbling block for your progress. For example, if you eat your evening meal at 5pm and then sleep at 10pm without consuming any more protein in between, then this adds an extra 5 hours onto the time spend in a catabolic state during sleep, which will cause muscle breakdown.

The Solution: If you are eating your evening meal close to the time stated above, then it would be massively beneficial for you to consume an extra protein-rich ‘meal’ prior to you going to bed. An excellent source of protein is Micellar Casein, a slow releasing protein that ‘drip feeds’ your muscles with amino acids while you sleep. The benefit of this is that it cuts down the time your body spends in a catabolic state, therefore preventing the breakdown of muscles, as well as promoting muscle growth and recovery

 

 

3. Drinking Alcohol to Help You Sleep

The Problem: Drinking alcohol has a negative effect on sleep as it reduces the amount of time we spend in REM. Out of the four stages of sleep, this is the ‘deepest’ and is where the muscles are repairing and recovering. Alcohol causes us to spend more time in stage one sleep, which is the ‘lightest’ and where you are likely to be prone to disturbances.

Alcohol also lowers growth hormone (GH) release, which is at it’s peak during the first 90 minutes of sleep. GH is also important in the muscle building process.

The Solution: You should never view alcohol consumption as a cure for your sleeping struggles, it will only worsen your relationship with sleep in the long term. Alcohol is also bad news for muscle building and fat loss and will be detrimental to your fitness goals. Our advice would be to get into a bedtime routine, eat a balanced and healthy diet and try out consuming ZMA to enhance your sleep quality and length.

 4. Consuming Stimulants or Coffee Too Late in The Day

The Problem: Quite an obvious one, but worth covering nonetheless. Even if you do manage to get to sleep after consuming a coffee too late in the day, the caffeine will still have a negative affect on your sleep quality. This is because it reduces the amount of time you spend in deep REM sleep, therefore reducing muscle growth and repair.

The Solution: Don’t consume any stimulants within 6 hours of going to bed to allow the caffeine to be metabolised enough to not affect your sleep. If you train later in the evening and need a little bit of a boost for your workout then we would suggest using our Amino Go, which is stimulant free and packed full of aminos and natural isotonic coconut water to enhance strength, speed, power and endurance, whilst keeping you hydrated and fuelled throughout your workout.

 

Use code ‘SOCIAL30’ for 30% off the below nighttime products:

ZMA Micellar Casein 85 Bedtime Pro
£11.99 £11.99 £13.99
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