Protein Before Bed


A recent article in the Bicycling magazines recommends eating proteins before going to bed which helps to build muscle strengthen.

Riding faster and longer requires some muscle. And in order to build that muscle, you not only need strength training, but also solid recovery tactics that support your efforts in the gym. An important one: consuming enough protein—and figuring out when to consume it.

Referring to a review by journal Frontiers in Nutrition, the article adds what the researchers found:

People who drank a casein shake with about 30 grams of protein right before bed on days they lifted and on days they rested for 12 weeks gained more muscle mass—about four pounds—and strength than those who drank a non-protein placebo.

Tim Snijders, Ph.D., lead study author and assistant professor at Maastricht University, tells Bicycling, told Bicycling, why is it so important to consume protein right before going to sleep?

Dietary protein consists of individual amino acids, which are the building blocks of skeletal muscle tissue.

Food isn’t usually ingested during the night when you’re asleep, making this period of time the longest your body goes without eating each day. Because of this, no protein goes to your muscles and no protein synthesis occurs.

Dr. Snijders further added that “by consuming casein, however, is more slowly digested and absorbed compared to whey—your muscles are getting extra fuel to grow”.

“All protein that is ingested prior to sleep is used for protein synthesis. When exercise is performed earlier that evening, a large part of ingested protein is directed to muscle protein synthesis and is not stored.”

– Tim Snijders

Writing as the bottom line, the article adds:

Drinking a casein protein shake right before you go to sleep can boost your muscle growth, making you stronger and faster in the saddle. But, of course, if you feel that slurping a protein-packed beverage before you hit the sheets doesn’t settle well or leads to more disturbed sleep, know you’ll still benefit from having protein throughout the day—even if you can’t get it at night.