How To Snack Before Going To Bed

Source | Suzy Hazelwood

Source | Suzy Hazelwood

You know the old adage: stop eating after 7 or 8 P.M. or if you must eat, choose a light snack for your health. It seems late night eating always get the bad rap but choosing the right snacks can do your body some good. Here are some quick tips to follow:

The worst foods are the ones that are high in sugar or fat. Think ice cream, potato chips, cakes, cookies, cheeses, etc. These types of foods take a long time to breakdown via digestion and cause your blood sugar to rise. Both types of activities cause disturbances as you sleep.

When I was hardcore on wanting to shape up and build muscles, it seemed the common knowledge was to drink a high whey protein shake before bed. The idea was to sustain as much protein for gains and to satisfy the late night hunger. It seems Whey protein does more harm than good: whey causes the insulin to spike which can keep you up at night.

In addition, if you notice you were one who never snacks after dinner but feels compelled to meet “calories”, there is no benefit to adding a high whey protein snack before bedtime. In fact, a study discovered that before-bedtime protein built muscles in strength training men and can hold true for women.

The trick is to choose the right protein: choose a protein that contains casein which is high in protein but minimal in carbohydrates and fats. Alternatively, choose a dairy product like a plain cup of cottage cheese. If you have to sprinkle something sweet, rather than pile on the sugar, spice it up with cinnamon and cloves. It digests slowly and keeps you full without comprising your blood sugar or excess calories.

If dairy is not your thing, there is my trusted favorite: a tall glass of unsweetened almond milk :)

In another study: The British Journal of Nutrition reports that active young women who ate 30 grams of protein about a half hour before going to sleep had experience zero metabolic effects. 

Besides the protein, add carbs can be beneficial to aid you as get your zzzs. A small number of healthy carbs with protein like grapes with a cup of cottage cheese can help the body move the essential amino acid, tryptophan to the brain to produce serotonin, the neurochemical that boosts sleep.

No need to starve before you hit the sack.

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