Did you know even sleep is part and parcel of bodybuilding necessities? But many bodybuilders ask “Do you have to sleep for your muscles to grow?” Well, for serious bodybuilders 8 hour sleep is compulsory without which all efforts go waste. But what use is plain vanilla sleep? It is a boon come true if you utilize your body’s sleep time into something more meaningful.
For gaining muscles, utilize your sleep time by eating slowly digesting foods which make all the difference. But before we delve into this subject, it is better to know how bedtime snacks help your muscles grow!
People get suspicious and ask many questions before accepting our logic. Though they are correct in their own sphere, we answer some of their queries willingly.
Is it good to eat right before bed?
Yes especially if you stick to well-established protein foods.
What not to eat before bed?
Well, nothing related to carbs.
Is it OK to eat cottage cheese before bed?
Yes, but do not go overboard and restrict yourself to one small cup.
What happens to your muscles when you sleep?
Maximum muscle gains happen not inside the gym but outside of it, that is when you sleep. Let’s explain how.
1. Sleep allows your body to recover from workout strains. Also this is the time when the maximum growth hormone surge takes place.
2. If you do not eat the right foods before sleeping, you are depriving your body of muscle building essential amino acids which is a sure shot way to set your body on catabolism route. Your body will steal amino acids from your hard earned muscles, to convert to glucose to fuel your brain and gut.
3. Pouncing on slowly-digesting protein snacks like cottage cheese and casein shake along with healthy fats before sleeping enables the muscles to tap into nutrients to get bigger and stronger.
4. While you sleep, the trickling of proteins in your muscle fibers throughout the night, your muscles will not get in a catabolic mode when you wake up.
Ideally, your bedtime snacks should be slow digesting proteins and a liberal helping of good fats to slow digestion of protein for longer nourishment of muscles.
So now you know how sleep aids doubly better in your bodybuilding efforts.
The ideal snacks to eat before bed enabling good muscle building
Consuming protein-rich snacks just before you sleep helps repair and build muscle tissues. A peaceful sleep ensures uninterrupted workflow in this repairing and building task. It is better to eat foods which are high in quality protein.
1. Low fat Cottage Cheese/Tofu
Tofu/Cottage cheese is a high casein snack which is rich in slow-digesting proteins that spare breakdown of your muscle proteins during the night and boosts new muscle synthesis. Even a cup of cottage cheese will give you 11 to 12 g of protein to build more muscle mass.
Add soaked and skinned almonds to the cottage cheese to make it more nutritious and get important nutrients, like (proteins, monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids) but also provide satiety and slow the digestion of proteins, thereby, supplying proteins to your body over a longer period of time.
2. Casein Protein
Drinking casein protein powder in shake form is much easier than eating its solid variant. The liquid digests better as it quickly forms into a gel, not possible when you eat in solid form. This gel then slowly releases the inherent amino acids for a period up to 7 hours benefiting your body tremendously.
To make your body stronger and fitter, make sure to whip up a casein shake before going to bed as it will also prevent muscle breakdown. The tasty flavours make you salivate and the body is eager to grab and process. Choose the supplement which provides more casein protein per scoop compared to its competitors. We recommend you the one which serves 24 grams of protein per serving and works wonders.
This simple looking homemade yoghurt (Dahi) is a probiotic, calcium and protein rich snack. The protein found in yogurt acts as the building block for building lean muscles. Consuming a cup of yogurt before bed offers 11g of protein for nighttime muscle preservation.
Add a pinch of salt and one tablespoon of roasted peanut powder to increase the taste and protein content.
3. Grilled fish
Fish is a perfect pre-bed food source one can think of. This is because it’s high in protein content and contains healthy omega-3 fats. Have it an hour before going to bed and surely your muscles will thank you for your efforts and the way you take their care.
4. Peanut butter with Whey Protein
A tablespoon of peanut butter, with drained yoghurt and slightly-roasted flaxseeds is just right to provide you continued nourishment during night time. When you team peanut butter with yoghurt, you get a generous dose of protein along with good quality fats. Flaxseeds on the side provide a generous dose of polyunsaturated fat.
Relatively cheap, convenient, available in many flavors, and easily digested, whey protein is a staple in many (if not most) gym-goers’ supplement regimens. Whey contains a superior amount of essential amino acids along with an ample supply of the coveted branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). Adding it to your menu is a no-brainer.
Now that you know what to eat before bedtime to build your muscles, you should quit your fears and choose the right bedtime foods. The result will show in bigger and stronger muscles.