3 Reasons to Start Drinking Protein Shakes Before Bed
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Why You Need Protein Shakes Before Bed: Muscle Growth, Weight Loss and Sound Sleep
Among all the different nutrients and ingredients that your body takes in, nothing else could possibly be more essential than the macronutrients you fuel yourself with, such as protein.
Regardless of whether you're looking to lose weight or gain muscle, protein should definitely be a regular part of your diet.
Mostly concerned and associated with building muscle, this essential macronutrient is connected to a wide range of desired outcomes and key benefits that span from improved health to increased athletic performance.
And, as it turns out, protein consumption before bed is particularly beneficial.
In this blog post we'll discuss the reasons why you should drink a protein shake before bed for better muscle growth, weight loss and sound sleep.
Let's get started!
The Importance of Muscle Protein Synthesis: One major reason drinking a protein shake before bed.
Muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is the process by which muscle cells build new proteins from amino acids.
This is an important process for athletes and bodybuilders because it helps to repair and rebuild muscles after a workout.
Muscle protein synthesis also plays an important role in maintaining muscle mass, especially as we age.
But, MPS isn't just important for bodybuilders and workout buffs.
It's important for anyone looking to maintain a strong and fit physique and especially important while trying to lose body fat.
When most people aim to "lose weight" what they really want to achieve is a more tuned-up body which means retaining lean muscle and shedding body fat.
One way to optimize muscle protein synthesis is to make sure you are getting enough protein in your diet.
Plant-based proteins are high in essential amino acids, which are necessary for stimulating muscle growth and preventing muscle protein breakdown.
Another way to optimize muscle protein synthesis is to drink a protein shake before bed.
The combination of plant-based proteins and sleep will help to maximize muscle growth and recovery.
Opting for plant-based proteins is recommended because they are much easier to digest, meaning you'll sleep more soundly.
Whey protein shakes tend to cause gas and bloating which can interfere with sleep...which is the optimal time for your body repair and build muscle.
Which type of protein shake is best before bed?
There are plant-based proteins and there are animal-based proteins.
Animal-based proteins contain all the essential amino acids needed to increase muscle mass, whereas standalone plant-based proteins do not.
However, that does not mean that plant-based proteins are ineffective; in fact, consuming plant-based proteins before bed has been shown to increase muscle protein synthesis rates during sleep!
This is likely due to the high levels of leucine present in certain plant-proteins like peas.
And as far as plant proteins go, it's pretty easy to achieve the same PDCAAs score of animal-based proteins by simply combining multiple protein sources.
For example, the proper ratio of pea protein + rice protein is an easy way to ensure you get the full range of amino acids required for muscle building and recovery.
The Problem With Whey Protein Before Bed
There are many different opinions on whether or not whey protein is good before bed.
Some people believe that it can help with weight gain and muscle mass, while others have found it to cause gastric distress if consumed close to bedtime.
But regardless of whether or not you can "tolerate" whey protein, it's not the best option to consume before bed because it is quickly absorbed by the body.
For this reason, casein protein has been the go-to choice, but it too comes with some undesirable side effects
Casein Protein: A Better Choice?
Casein protein is one of two proteins found in milk.
It makes up to 80 percent of the total protein content, whereas whey only accounts for 20 percent.
Casein protein is known as a "slow digesting" protein that has been common in the bodybuilding world for quite some time.
But, casein protein shakes also come with some undesirable side effects that can interfere with sleep quality, which should always be the ultimate goal when considering which protein shake to drink before bed.
Possible side effects of casein protein:
- Gas and bloating
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Allergic reaction
What makes casein a slow-release protein?
One reason is that it has a high molecular weight.
This means that it takes longer for the digestive enzymes to break down the casein into individual amino acids.
The result is a sustained release of amino acids into the bloodstream.
Another reason for the slow release of casein is its pH level.
Casein has a pH level of about six, which is on the acidic side.
This slows down the digestion process even further.
In contrast, whey protein is a fast-release protein because it has a low molecular weight and is quickly broken down by the digestive enzymes.
This explains why whey protein became famous as a post-workout drink with the though that your muscles need an immediate influx of nutrients.
Numerous studies have proven this to be untrue, showing that consistent protein intake throughout the day from the right fuel sources is more important than the 30 minutes immediately following a workout.
So, if you're looking for a high-quality source of protein, with a complete amino acid score, that is easy to digest and won't cause any unpleasant side effects, try a plant-based protein powder that includes both pea and rice protein.
How Does Plant-Based Protein Compare?
Plant protein is highly absorbable but often takes longer than animal sources for our digestive system to break down these products into usable amino acids.
This slow-digesting process makes drinking a plant protein shake before bed a great choice for anyone who is in the market for an effective solution for repairing muscle tissue and stimulate muscle protein synthesis while sleeping.
And now that we're on the subject of slow-digesting proteins, let's explore the benefits of this for weight loss...
Pre-Sleep Protein Shakes for Weight Loss
Beyond muscle growth, another reason drinking a protein shake before bed is such a beneficial practice is that it has a significant effect on the body's ability to lose weight as well!
How do protein Shakes Before Bed Help with Weight Loss?
Protein takes longer to digest than other nutrients, so it will keep you feeling full for longer.
This means that you’re less likely to snack on unhealthy foods in the middle of the night.
Additionally, if you’re trying to kickstart your metabolism and shed some excess body fat, having a protein shake before bed can help you burn more calories while you sleep.
And, the more muscle you maintain the more calories you burn!
A recent study found that people who consumed 30 grams of protein before bed lost more fat and retained more muscle mass than those who didn’t.
The reason why many struggle when starting a new weight loss program is largely due to hunger cravings that occur when depriving the body of key nutrients and reducing caloric intake.
One easy way to avoid this is to increase protein intake throughout the day.
Starting your day and ending your day with a nutrient-rich protein shake is a surefire way to keep the hangry monster at bay and stay on track with your weight management goals.
A protein shake before bed May enhance sleep quality
There is some evidence that suggests protein shakes may help you sleep more soundly.
One study found that participants who consumed a protein shake before going to bed reported less nighttime wakefulness and improved quality of sleep compared to those who didn't drink the shake.
Another study showed that consuming protein before bed led to increased feelings of relaxation and better sleep quality.
While more research is needed, it's possible that drinking a protein shake before bed could help you get a better night's sleep.
If you're looking for ways to get more restful sleep, try incorporating a protein shake into your evening routine...just be sure to steer clear of animal-based proteins that disrupt sleep due to gastric distress.
While true that drinking protein shakes can help increase sleep quality, modern sleep science shows that there is more to getting a good night's sleep that extend beyond protein supplementation.
Why Getting Enough Protein is Just the Start
There's no doubt that being mindful of your daily protein intake plays a critical role in how you rest, recover, and control body weight.
Achieving a positive protein balance helps stimulate muscle growth but it's important to also consider the other factors that lead to a healthy body and high quality sleep.
Other micronutrients like magnesium can help you sleep more soundly while also supporting muscle repair.
Magnesium is one nutrient in particular that most Americans don't get enough of, yet it is so critical to optimal hormonal balance and other vital functions of the body.
It's also known to support restful sleep and recovery.
But, the human body doesn't operate in isolation which it's why it's important to look beyond single nutrient supplements to ensure you get the full spectrum of protein + nutrients that support rest and recovery.
Top 3 Reasons for Drinking a protein shake before bed
To wrap things up, let's revisit the top three key takeaways to consider when consuming protein shakes before bed.
1. It is a surefire way to bump up muscle growth to desired levels
When it comes to gaining muscle, protein (aside from hard work) is the catalyst for real, tangible results, especially when it’s consumed in shake-form before bedtime!
The idea of taking in an extra dose of the macronutrient before sleeping is one that many have alluded to as the foundation of results.
Protein powders have been shown to be quite beneficial for muscle and tissue repair because they supplement your diet with a boost of amino acids.
The longer you can stay in muscle building mode and avoid muscle protein breakdown, the faster you'll be able to gain weight and retain lean muscle mass.
2. It helps facilitate weight loss even as you sleep
While it may be no secret that protein shakes (or protein, in general) are a surefire way to lose weight, taking it before bed is especially beneficial because it gives the body an increase in metabolism.
Additionally, this practice is helpful for most people because of its ability to prevent hunger pangs, making it easier to stay disciplined and on-track with effectively losing weight!
3. It is a great way to improve your sleep
One key benefit of consuming protein shake before bedtime that many people overlook is that it works wonders for the quality of sleep that you’ll be getting.
When consumed with a minimal amount of carbohydrates, an extra serving of protein before bed can boost the amino acid L-tryptophan for an increased uptake, which is a process that has been linked to improved sleep quality and quicker sleeping times!
Beyond being a great way to support recovery and boost performance, nutrient-dense shakes with a complete source of protein are also a great way to improve your sleep, keep the fat furnace burning, and improve your health.
You can easily gain all these benefits, especially if they're taken before bed!Are you looking for the best protein shake before bed?
No need to worry because we've got you covered. The LyfeFuel Recovery Shake is one of the most comprehensive protein powders on the market.
Crafted to include the perfect balance of amino acids with an added boost of nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin D, and B vitamins - engineered to support your health and wellness goals without the side effects of animal proteins.
So, what are you waiting for? Scoop some up today!
Disclaimer: The LYFE Fuel blog is for informational purposes only. The information does not serve as a replacement for professional medical advice or treatment. We kindly ask you not to ignore professional medical advice because of any information you’ve read on https://lyfefuel.com/. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a physician or appropriate health care expert.