My advice: Read this article – it’s important.
Much is made of nutrient-timing during the post-workout period, and rightly so. This meal (usually liquid) is essential for kick-starting the anabolic process after the catabolic activity of working out.
But not enough is made of an equally important period – night time. How should we eat before sleeping to ensure optimal nutrition for muscle growth?
Remember, what you put in your mouth at this time is the only nutrition your body will receive over the next 8 or 9 hours.
So to fuel growth, we obviously need protein to last us all night. I’ll work on the assumption that this is going to be 8-9 hours.
This is where slow-absorbing protein powders like Casein are usually recommended.
But I don’t recommend casein or other slow-absorbing proteins.
Why not? The truth is that real food is the best slow-absorbing protein there is. Real, solid-food from protein sources like chicken, eggs, fish, and so on. Casein and other bedtime powders are a monumental waste of money.
In fact, let’s now reference an earlier article of mine on the Top 5 Sources of Protein for Building Muscle to get a better idea of how we should eat. This is not my opinion, but the scientific truth regarding the best proteins in terms of its completeness (amino acid profile) and bio-availability.
This table is from that article.
Being a ‘complete’ protein refers to the amino acid profile of the protein. A protein that contains all the aminos is called a complete protein. The more complete, the better.
The bioavailability of a protein refers to the amount of that protein that will actually end up getting absorbed and used by the body. The higher the bioavailability, the better!
WHAT PROTEIN SOURCE AND HOW MUCH TO TAKE
A solid food meal of protein, fat, and carbs will absorb at the rate of 4-5g protein per hour. Let’s err on the side of caution and take the 5g/hr figure.
5 x 9 = 45g protein
So to get through the night, all you need is a solid food meal containing around 45g protein.
Now obviously whey is not an option here as it absorbs much too quickly (about 10g/hour).
So, in order to be anabolic all night and fuel growth from the very best protein sources, you should be opting for:
Or any combination of these. These are the top 4 night-time proteins in my opinion.
The top 4 night-time protein sources are eggs, fish, beef, and chicken - fact Click To Tweet
So to hammer it home: At bedtime you should eat around 45g protein (if not a little more) from eggs, fish, beef, or chicken.At bedtime you should eat 45g protein from eggs, fish, beef, chicken to stay anabolic all night Click To Tweet
All meat is around 25% protein by weight. So 45g protein can be obtained from ~180g or about 6.5oz of meat or fish.All meat is around 25% protein by weight. So 45g protein = ~180g or about 6.5oz of chicken, fish… Click To Tweet
But remember to count the protein from the other food on your plate (they count too, so you’ll need less actual meat than this). Also, an egg contains around 6g protein.
If you’re wondering why I didn’t include milk, we have to balance out the above bio-availabiluty figures with the actual AMOUNT of protein in the foods e.g. milk might be high in bioavailability, but you’d have to drink a hell of a lot to get enough protein.
CARBS & FAT
For the other 2 macros, it really just depends on what diet your own. If you are carb-cycling like my MANS diet, this will be a high-fat meal with 45g protein. If you’re on a higher-carb diet, like my GLAD diet, then it’s going to be 45g from protein and whatever carbs and fats will meet your macros for the day. Simple. Don’t overthink it.
(Are you a vegetarian? See my top vegetarian sources of protein for bodybuilders.)
GET STARTED ON T.H.T. TRAINING
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