protein before bed

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by robefc, Jul 11, 2003.

  1. robefc

    robefc New Member

    Sorry if this seems like a stupid question but I'm bored at work :D

    If we sleep for say a third of the day and accept that night time is an important time for muscle recovery when protein is likely to be used pretty much solely for muscle repair then....

    are we eating enough before going to bed/at night?

    I'm thinking we guzzle protein frequently throughout the day to ensure we don't lose muscle and we have adequate amounts to build muscle but then we have a meal before bed consisting (I'm guessing) of a similar amount of protein to other meals and then sleep for 8 hours or so. Sure people look for a slow acting protein like casein but in that case should we not be looking to consume about a third of our daily protein before bed? (I'm not one for shakes in the middle of the night but thats another option). Just seems weird to me that 30g of slow digesting protein is enough for 8 hours of critical recovery time?

    Thoughts from equally bored people?

    At the moment I'm mixing a can of tuna with half a tin of baked beans (weird, moi?) cos I odn't want to have a shake and its an easy way of getting 45g of protein with few carbs but I'm thinking of increasing this to 60-80g, would just have a whole can of beans but trying to cut! If anyone has any advice re:carbs/fat before bed to go with protein that would be appreciated too!
  2. jsraaf

    jsraaf New Member

    Equally bored at work...

    I hate to break it to you, Rob, but baked beans (as do other legumes) have carbs o'plenty. Check the label!
  3. robefc

    robefc New Member

    lol - i know, i'm avoiding them the rest of the time at the moment, usually i cant get enough of them!

    but half a can = 27g of carbs which is less than half my usual carbs for a meal (60) - so relatively speaking few carbs!

    if you're bored at work I expect a long and detailed response to my other questions :D
  4. jsraaf

    jsraaf New Member

    Ok, relatively fewer carbs then!

    As for your other thought, I am still getting used to the idea of eating a bunch of protein + fat right before bed.

    I don't know that 1/3 of intake should be pre-bedtime. Yes, there can be some catabolism during sleep but I think it's infinitesimal & further reduced by some protein intake before sleep. I believe the body functions slow during sleep so that there may be less demand for nutirents. I would have to think that something like that is a normal biological mechanism.

    I for one am not worried about it, but there are those that wake at 2am for something to eat!
  5. robefc

    robefc New Member

    I'm not too worried myself actually, just really really bored! but it did seem to me that metabolism slows down as very few demands on the body but then that is a time when muscle recovery can take place most easily and obviously the fuel is needed for that.

    I was not thinking of preventing catabolism - more increasing analobism during the night.

    God I can't wait unti I'm bulking - am dreaming of mcdonalds milkshakes as my new bulking aid and eating a shed load of beans and tuna before bed (my duvet might smell not so good!)
  6. jsraaf

    jsraaf New Member

    Increasing anabolism during sleep? Don't know.

    I'm cutting too, and it really does blow. Only been 3 weeks and I'm already tired of the menu I created (for consistency & easy measuring of calories, etc.). I seem to be fairly carb-sensitive so I'm really trying to watch, and will probably cut them lower than the 100g daily or so that I'm at now, but it's hard... Plus I think I need to add some cardio to by AM/PM split. Things seem to be moving a little too slowly.

    Bulking never sounded so good.... :confused:
  7. robefc

    robefc New Member

    funny how i was fed up with having to eat so much not long ago!

    how are you doing your cutting in terms of diet? I'm not exactly cutting but I found I was only just maintaining my weight with HST and my diet so I've simply reduced carbs and fat a bit and will start doing cardio (soccer training starts soon).

    I'm having a whey shake with milk and banana for brekky rather than whey with 60g of maltodextrin, i've cut maltodextrin pre/post workout in half and apart from that am just eating clean - e.g. potatoes instead of chips, green veg instead of baked beans, no cakes etc.

    I figure I should lose weight gradually but hopefully very little muscle (or Ill cry!)
  8. jsraaf

    jsraaf New Member

    Let's see if this works to post it. Here's my meal plan:

    Workout Days Protein Carbs Fat Cals

    Meal 1 - Pre-workout
    1 Primer 23. 4.5 1. 119.
    7 Dextrose (tsp) 0. 21. 0. 35.
    Meal Total 23. 25.5 1. 154.

    Meal 2 - Post-workout
    1 Driver 18. 4. 1.5 101.5
    Meal Total 18. 4. 1.5 101.5

    Meal 3 - Mid-morning (9:30am)
    4 Chicken (oz) 36. 0. 4. 180.
    1.0 Brown rice (cup) 4. 42. 1.5 197.5
    2 Fish Oil caps 0. 0. 2. 18.
    Meal Total 40. 42. 7.5 395.5

    Meal 4 - Lunch (12 noon)
    1.0 Tuna (Can) 40. 0. 2. 178.
    2.0 Wheat bread (Brownberry) 10. 36. 3. 211.
    Meal Total 50. 36. 5. 389.

    Meal 5 - Mid-afternoon (3pm)
    4 Chicken (oz) 36. 0. 4. 180.
    1 Salad + dressing 1. 7. 2. 50.
    Meal Total 37. 7. 6. 230.

    Meal 6 - Dinner (6pm)
    0 Unknown 0. 0. 0. 0.
    Meal Total 0. 0. 0. 0.

    Meal 7 - Post-workout/bedtime (9pm)
    2.0 Natural PB (tbsp) 9. 6. 15. 195.
    .5 Cottage Cheese (cup) 13. 2.5 3.5 93.5
    2 Fish Oil caps 0. 0. 2. 18.
    Meal Total 22. 8.5 20.5 306.5

    Total grams 190 123 42
    Total calories 760 492 374
    %ages 47% 30% 23%
    Total calories 1626

    Off Days Protein Carbs Fat Cals

    Meal 1 - 7am
    1.0 Oatmeal (pkt) 4. 19. 2. 110.
    4 Skim milk (oz) 4. 6. 0. 40.
    1.0 Scoops whey 23. 3. 1.5 117.5
    Meal Total 31. 28. 3.5 267.5

    Meal 2 - Mid-morning (9:30am)
    4.0 Chicken (oz) 36. 0. 4. 180.
    0.75 Brown rice (cup) 3. 31.5 1.1 148.1
    2 Fish Oil caps 0. 0. 2. 18.
    Meal Total 39. 31.5 7.1 346.1

    Meal 3 - Lunch (12 noon)
    1.0 Tuna (Can) 40. 0. 2. 178.
    1.0 Apple 0. 20. 0. 80.
    Meal Total 40. 20. 2. 258.

    Meal 4 - Mid-afternoon (3pm)
    4.0 Chicken (oz) 36. 0. 4. 180.
    1.0 Salad + dressing 1. 7. 2. 50.
    Meal Total 37. 7. 6. 230.

    Meal 5 - Dinner (6pm)
    .0 Unknown 0. 0. 0. 0.
    Meal Total 0. 0. 0. 0.

    Meal 6 - Bedtime (9pm)
    1.0 Natural PB (tbsp) 4.5 3. 7.5 97.5
    .5 Cottage Cheese (cup) 13. 2.5 3.5 93.5
    1.0 Scoops whey 23. 3. 1.5 117.5
    2 Fish Oil caps 0. 0. 2. 18.
    Meal Total 40.5 8.5 12.5 308.5

    Total grams 188 95 31
    Total calories 750 380 280
    %ages 53% 27% 20%
    Total calories 1410
  9. robefc

    robefc New Member

    how much do you weight at the moment? cos I'd disappear if I ate that much!

    I don't get the not eating carbs after training either. I'm quite reluctant to drop my carbs to 30g pre and 30g post.
  10. mikeh

    mikeh New Member

    I'm with you guys dieting SUCKS !!

    but I've lost some fat and pants are loose again :) :)


    Time for a bedtime story by John Berardi

    bedtime story

    Have you added some fish oil, fax oil or olive oil??
  11. jsraaf

    jsraaf New Member

    Right now I'm about 170lbs, about 14%BF, age 41. I'm looking to get down to around 10-12% before bulking over the fall & winter months.

    I have lost 2-3 lbs & about .5-.75 inch on the waist, other measurements staying about constant so muscle preservation seems ok right now.
  12. mikeh

    mikeh New Member


    Good job [​IMG]

    Do your totals include dinner 0 0 0??

    Go ahead an add some dex to your morning post workout.
  13. jsraaf

    jsraaf New Member

    Mike, I guess I didn't update this spreadsheet info, but I moved the dex to post-workout, 20g post only, nothing pre.

    Dinner is not listed there. So I'm at about 2100 on workout days, 1900 on off days.

    I seemed to lose most of it the first week, not much since (very slow). I'll measure again on Monday & possibly add some HIIT & keep calories the same and see how it goes.
  14. robefc

    robefc New Member

    Thanks for that mikeh,

    Cottage cheese is widely advocated on the boards that I sometimes visit, I've always used milk plus whey before but figured that the carb to protein ratio of milk is not great. I'm guessing that tuna acts as a slow digesting protein too so is ok before bed, I refuse to have whey as well at this point as I use enough of the stuff as it is! as long as I've got plenty of protein before bed to last me then I'm happy, altho having said that adding some whey and milk to my tuna and beans would give me 60-70 grams of protein with a good ratio of quick to slow acting, I also always wake up in the night sio maybe tuna and beans before bed, whey and milk half way throught the night...or maybe I should get some cottage cheese!
  15. mikeh

    mikeh New Member

    Yep cottage cheese just add some vanilla whey for taste I also eat a tsp of Nat PB.

    Tried fax oil [​IMG] fish oil [​IMG]

    Besides my wife won't get near me if I have fish oil before bed (Burp)

    tuna and beans ?? you must be single [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Chicken is another good bedtime snack but I have eaten 3 during the day and just can't eat another one ..... I keep looking to see if I'll start growing gills or a beak [​IMG]
  16. Calkid

    Calkid New Member

    I'm a big believer in eating before bed; I have about 700 calories of food and 40-50g of protein before bed. (bulking right now, obviously :D)

    So far results have been solid.
  17. pete69

    pete69 New Member

    robefc, its not a stupid question, actually a really good one. I brought up the same point w/ my thread "case for less meals". OK, so most eat 6x a day then go from 8-12 hours during the night without protein. If one is eating smaller meals w/ protein every 2-3 hours, then they are assuming that is how long it takes to digest their protein source. So WHY eat the same size meal before bed if it will be digested in 3 hours, going several hours w/out protein in the system.

    Based on the fast vs. slow protein studies by Biorie, just 30g of casein protein maintains a positive nitrogen balance for 7 hours. Now meat would be as slow or slower a protein than casein, and if a large meal is ingested, the body slows digestion even more. My theory is that a better nitrogen balance can be maintained w/ 2-3 LARGE meals. A large peace of meat will take well over 7 hours to digest and will be pouring aminos into the blood stream. So, for example, rather than eating 4 meals of 50g protein at 8AM, 12PM, 4PM, and 8PM, the same nitrogen balance should be able to be achieved from 200g protein at 8AM. Then, at 8PM, have another 100-200g protein, keeping nitrogen levels higher through the night rather than not by having a smaller protein meal of say 30-50g protein. Either way I havent noticed any muscle loss w/ dieting like this, and it makes more sense to do it this way than to go only during the day w/ small meals and no protein in the sytem at night.
  18. robefc

    robefc New Member

    I think the main reason to eat several meals throughout the day rather than fewer large ones is simply its a lot easier to eat the required calroies in many small doses. I don't fancy eating 200g of protein in one sitting! Plus this will make you feel bloated and really slow down your metabolism.

    I agree with you in terms of before bed though - I think its worth really chowing down on a lot of protein and adding fat/carbs depending on whether bulking/cutting.

    Glad to see you didn't think it was a stupid question! [​IMG]
  19. robefc

    robefc New Member

    so 200 calories from protein I figure you must be having 125g of carbs or 55g of fat or some combination of the above - could you specify what combination it is and why? I'm interested because I've never really bulked before - I've been trying to add muscle and weight but not in a proper bulking fashion (i.e. worried about fat gain), cutting at the moment so eating mainly protein before bed but interested for future reference (I am going to get soo fat this winter and love it! :D )

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