We know full well that getting enough protein is essential to building muscle and a nutritious diet. What many people don’t know is whether or not consuming protein before bed is wise or the best choice for their body. Also, the type of protein to consume can be an area of great confusion. So today we’ll briefly discuss the types and benefits of the most popular types of protein and discuss the five pros and cons to consuming the right protein for you before bed. We’ll discuss whether or not eating protein before bed can be good at all. From there you’ll be equipped with the knowledge to make the best decision for you.
A quick refresher about protein first…
Protein powders can come in many forms ranging from either animal products such as milk or eggs, or plants like soy, rice, peas, or hemp.
The two most common forms of protein powder are whey protein and Casein protein. Both are from milk. Whey protein is a fast acting quick to absorb protein. Casein is a slower acting one that takes a longer time to absorb.
Your body needs amino acids, which are often referred to as the building blocks of protein. Your body can make a majority of the amino acids, but it can’t make nine of them, those nine are found in food.
Both whey and casein protein contain all nine amino acids making them a popular choice for protein powder. The difference between the two are in the time it takes to absorb each protein. Whey is the fastest “whey” to go, while casein takes longer, feeding your body the amino acids more slowly at a lower level.
There are many health advantages and disadvantages to each and you can read more about them here.
Your body needs protein to fight off germs and illnesses, build muscles, and rebuild cells. Protein is essential for your body, and sometimes you might not get enough of it. Thus, the protein shake was created, making an easy way to consume the needed amount of protein each day.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 46 grams of protein a day for women and 56 grams for men. That is 10-35% of your daily calorie intake.
The amount of protein you consume each day depends on a few other factors though, including age, gender, and the amount of physical activity you do per day. Click here for a protein calculator to figure out how much protein you need to be eating every day.
In cases where you aren’t reaching your recommended protein intake, protein shakes come in handy. Perhaps you are vegan which makes it harder to get enough protein in the diet, or if you exercise and work out a lot, or if you are not getting enough protein in their diet for some other reason.
It is important to remember that protein shakes are a supplement to add a little extra protein if you haven’t reached your daily intake from regular food. Protein shakes aren’t meant to replace the complete profile protein you can get from meats, milk, eggs, beans, and nuts. This article highlights the top five food and protein supplements and the protein amount in each.
When Should You Drink a Protein Shake?
There is a lot of controversy about the right time to drink a protein shake, specifically if you should drink a protein shake before bed. Some argue that drinking a protein shake before bed is the best way to get the maximum benefits out of your protein shake, while others say that drinking a protein shake before bed is not a good idea. And others say that it doesn’t depend on the timing of the shake so long as you get your daily intake of protein.
The purpose of this article is to view the pros and cons about drinking protein shakes before bed.
Let’s start with the pros.
The Pros to Drinking Protein Shakes Before Bed
- Protein shakes can help with weight loss as long as you’re not consuming more calories than you burn each day. Protein is harder on the body to digest therefore your body has to work harder to break it down which burns more calories. Protein can also help reduce your appetite, build your metabolism, and help you lose fat.
- Protein shakes can help you gain muscle. It contains the amino acids to build up your muscles, and help with a swift recovery from an intense workout.
- Casein protein is a slow digesting protein, so if you drink a casein protein shake before bed it can contribute to muscle buildup throughout night since it takes longer for your body to break down and release the amino acids into your blood stream.
- You can still provide your body with the amino acids it needs even during sleep when you aren’t eating.
- Protein shakes can help with fatigue. If you are overly tired, or having a slow recovery for something, one culprit could be that you aren’t getting enough protein.
The Cons to Drinking Protein Shakes Before Bed
- Protein shakes high in sugar can keep you awake rather than help you sleep, so pay attention to the label.
- Drinking protein before bed could exceed your calorie limit for the day, which wouldn’t help with weight loss if that’s your goal.
- If your body is busy digesting the protein shake, it won’t get the rest it needs. You may also experience digestive issues.
- Eating before bed can cause heartburn for some people. You may need to look closer at your portion control during the day and the types of foods you’re consuming.
- It may be just as effective to drink protein shakes during the day instead of right before bed. This is especially the case if your daily schedule allows you to work out earlier in the day.