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Should you eat protein before bed to build muscle?

Whether you’re bulking up or going through a cut, getting plenty of protein in your diet is key to supporting your goals.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, your daily calories should be broken down as so:

  • 10 to 35% of protein
  • 45 to 65% of carbohydrates
  • 20 to 35% of fat

While the recommended daily intake of protein sits at around 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, those looking to beef up will most likely opt for a higher dose of protein. This means that upping the amount of protein in your diet (from 0.8 to 1.3 to 1.8 grams) can help to support both weight lifting and resistance training.

As an example, an active guy weighing 180-pound would be consuming around 106 to 147 grams of protein daily to support muscle growth. For a woman weighing 140-pound, it would look more like 83 to 114 grams.

We all know that protein is important. But is there a right time to be consuming it?

The jury is still out in regards to whether post-workout protein is best. However, if you’re wondering what to eat before bed to build muscle, there’s a possibility that a protein shake before bed could be just the thing. We take a closer look.

The science of protein

In order to build muscle, we need amino acids. Since our bodies need this organic compound, protein is our go-to source.

When we lift weights, our muscle tissues are placed under stress, causing micro-tears in the muscle fibres. Then, when we head to bed, our muscles have time to repair and grow while we snooze the night away. During this time, growth hormone is elevated, boosting muscle growth and decreasing fat.

So what does that mean for protein and potentially consuming protein before bed? Well, since amino acids are needed to repair and grow your muscles, choosing to eat protein before bed may take full advantage of this hormone spike.

But don’t just take my word for it. Research has shown that casein protein before bed increases muscle protein synthesis, boosting post-workout overnight recovery. While another study has revealed that drinking a protein shake before bed resulted in greater muscle strength, size and muscle fiber size.

However, don’t go downing a load of protein before bed based on these studies – not yet anyway. Unfortunately, it’s a little unclear whether the increase in daily protein delivered these results, or if specifically a protein bar or protein shake before bed was the trigger.

Also Read: Best Protein Pills

Nevertheless, this research into whether you should eat protein before bed has led to the International Society of Sports Nutrition declaring that casein protein before bed can acutely increase muscle protein synthesis and metabolic rate as you sleep.

If you’re a fan of an early morning workout pre-breakfast, or prefer to exercise post-dinner, choosing to eat protein before bed may benefit your muscle growth.

And there’s more! With yet another study showing that protein before can improve metabolism.

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Protein before bed: Only for bodybuilders?

Is it just athletes and bodybuilders that may benefit from added protein before bed? Nope, not at all. While a protein bar before bed will most certainly benefit those looking to build muscle fast, it has also been shown to aid muscle growth in older people and those less active.

In the study, participants consumed casein protein before bed, with positive results. However, in those that are overweight, having protein before bed – or even carbs – may increase insulin levels the next morning. Therefore, to reap the benefits of a protein shake before bed, this tip is best left to athletes, bodybuilders and older people.

What is the best protein before bed?

When you’re doing your best to boost muscle growth and repair, getting the best protein before bed is super important. But what should you be eating?

Also Read: How much protein should you eat per day?

These food are packed with protein, so you can make a snack before hitting the hay.

Here’s what to eat before bed to build muscle:

  • 1 cup of 1% milk fat cottage cheese
  • A slice of bread with peanut butter and a glass of low fat or 1% milk
  • Greek yogurt with berries
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs
  • Cup of nuts

Looking for other great sources of protein before bed? Try the following if you want more than a snack and feel like cooking.

  • Legumes, lentils and peas
  • Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and ricotta cheese
  • Poultry
  • Tofu
  • Eggs
  • Fish and seafood
  • Nuts

To put things into perspective, around three ounces of chicken, salmon, 90% lean ground beef or one cup of lentils or cooked beans will help you hit a 20-gram protein goal.

Protein supplements vs a protein bar before bed

If you do decide to grab a protein shake before bed, be careful about the type of shake you choose – since many can be packed with artificial sweeteners and/or be high in calories.

Also Read: How to bulk up fast!

Of course, where possible, getting extra protein before bed should be done through food. With so many illegal bodybuilding supplements on the market, you’ll want to steer clear of these dangerous drugs, since many are untested and of course, banned.

But there is another way…

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Looking for the best protein before bed? It’s time to get BRUTAL, with Brutal Force.

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The Brutal Force Team

The Brutal Force Team

We research and write articles about health, fitness and dieting. Each of our articles includes sources from scientific studies where possible.






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The Brutal Force Team

The Brutal Force Team

We research and write articles about health, fitness and dieting. Each of our articles includes sources from scientific studies where possible.