Meal Before Bed & Bodybuilding

July 13th, 2007 by Paul Johnson

Most people among the general population are told not to eat before bed due to the concern of fat storage. However, most bodybuilders actually are taught to eat a high protein meal before bed.

Why do bodybuilders have a meal before bed?

Having protein before bed will help combat against muscle loss. During sleep when your glucose levels drop, your body will enter a catabolic state (muscle wasting state). To get the bodies energy it will burn fat, but will also burn a small amount of your hard earned muscle to get the amino acids!

What should you have in the meal before bed?

About a half hour after you fall asleep, your body releases a huge
spike of growth hormone. Unfortunately, high glucose levels will halt production of this growth hormone spike. For this reason, you should leave carbohydrates out of your late night meal. You should have about 40 to 60 grams worth of protein before bed.

In order to slow the release of your protein, you should take fat with your protein shake. Flaxseed oil or peanut butter should be taken with a protein shake before bed. You can also choose to have a slow digesting protein source instead, such as cottage cheese or meat.

  1. Brody on July 26th, 2007

    anyone have ideas ither than a protein shake, of what they eat (without any carbs. good call on this article.

  2. Admin on July 26th, 2007

    Thanks for your comment. I just edited to add that you can have cottage cheese or meat for your protein source instead of a protein shake if you want.

  3. 2secondpepod on January 18th, 2009

    If you don’t want shakes then yogurt or cottage cheese is a good idea. If meat is avaliable then i say go for it! Turkey’s a solid source of protein and isn’t as heavy as beef but it’s your call both are good. If you’re eating yogurt try greek yogurt which is higher in protein. It tastes very bland and almost sour but it can easily be covered up with fruit or honey. Or you could just eat anything low in carbs with peanut butter. Natural peanut butter is better, it doesn’t have all sorts of weird hydroginated oils and whatnot.

  4. Hunted on March 16th, 2010

    Egg whites. Hard boiled egg whites. about 6 of them half an hour to an hour before bed.

  5. Don on January 12th, 2011

    Yeah but how long will it take cottage cheese to digest? I need something to last the whole 8 hours of sleeping. And I’m trying to not buy shakes off the shelf because they are overpriced. Any ideas?