What do you absolutely need before bedtime? Sex? Well, hell yeah! But this is equally important… ;-P
I’m talking about food. Yes, your last meal before going to bed (or before having sex!) *guffaw*
It is important to note that the right meal before you retire for the day can have a positive effect on your overall training result as this important meal helps your body recover from your exercise by feeding your muscles with quality nutrition as you sleep.
You have to be selective and not pick unhealthy food such as fast food or ice cream or roti canai or fried rice etc. Choose the right food based on the following general rules:
Rule #1: Avoid carbs and insulin
Consuming carbs will result in a significant insulin release. This will in turn put the breaks on fat burning. In addition, carbs are easily stored as fat in the evening hours when metabolism is naturally slowing in preparation for sleep. Furthermore, you will definitely have very little opportunity to burn off that energy after consuming carbs at night as you don’t burn much calories when you are asleep.
So you’ll surely think, “that’s ok, I’ll just have protein”. Well, certain proteins such as red meat and fish have been shown to yield a significant insulin response as well. While these proteins are generally acceptable for a pre-bed meal, there are better choices, like those mentioned below.
Rule #2: Choose slow digesting proteins
Slow digesting proteins such as turkey and chicken meat are great pre-bedtime meal choices as they digest slowly and they don’t really produce a significant amount of insulin.
Another great choice is the milk protein casein found in some supplements and also in cottage cheese. Casein has the ability to coat the stomach, digest slowly and provide quality nutrition to your muscles over several hours (time-released properties) and thus makes a perfect pre-bedtime meal!
Rule #3: Add fat
Before you cuss at me and ask me whether I’ve gone out of my mine, let me qualify myself…yes, add fat…but only quality and healthy fats such as nuts and nut butters that will help to further slow gastric emptying and digestion while increasing fullness and satiety.