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How to Build Muscle While You Sleep

by Repfuel Sports 29 Apr 2023 0 Comments

Do you skip dinner? Do you feel constant hunger before you go to bed? But avoid bedtime meals, just because you think you will gain fat and will lose your hard-earned muscles. That's where you have got it wrong.

Night-time eating, especially before bed has got many drawbacks. Negative outcomes have been received in response to having a large meal at night. Health and weight-conscious people prefer to limit their food intake close to night-time because it would negatively impact their body composition and overall health. Furthermore, it may increase the risk for cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. However, recent studies suggest that pre-bedtime meals may not have negative outcomes if the food choice is small and packed with nutrients, low energy or single macronutrients. Nevertheless, night-time consumption of single nutrients like protein or slow-digestive proteins may not be harmful instead it may be beneficial for muscle protein synthesis and cardiometabolic health.  

Sleep is necessary, we cannot stress this fact enough. It is the time when mind and body get the rest that allows an individual to recover from a hard and intense workout. Having a 6-8 hours of peaceful sleep positively impacts athletic performance, improves agility, endurance, decision making and also contributes in muscle building.

So one question must be coming to your mind. That Why night-time is important when we can have all the proteins in daytime for muscle building?  Well, it's because of the melatonin hormones. Melatonin is a hormone that our brain releases when it is dark. It tells our body to sleep when it gets dark or at night. Sunlight or exposure to bright light inhibits the production of these hormones. Also If a person is exposed to too much artificial light at night, it may cause less release of melatonin making it harder for him to fall asleep.

Now, Why melatonin? Because, melatonin may reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress because it contains antioxidant properties that could potentially reduce the oxidative stress caused by intense exercise and training, and provide a better environment for muscle protection and muscle growth.     

What you eat before hitting the sack affects your sleep quality as well as greatly contributes to the ability to repair your muscles and recover your body strength, allowing you to perform better during a workout. It means your body needs good nutrition for the whole process of recovery and repair while you are in your deep sleep.

According to a study proposed by the National Institute of Health, Protein ingestion before sleep is more likely an effective eating plan to keep muscle mass, especially when combined with physical activity like workouts and exercises.

Moreover, consuming slow-digesting protein-rich snacks, like cottage cheese, casein powder and peanut butter, just before you go to bed allows the muscles to absorb the nutrients to get bigger and stronger. With slow breaking up of proteins in your muscle fibers throughout the night direct your muscles to not go in a catabolic process when you wake up.

How Do Bedtime Meals Help You to Build Muscles?

Many gym goers and fitness lovers have a misconception that bedtime meals might affect their hard-earned muscles, but when rest after an intense workout it allows your muscles to recover faster ultimately speeding up the process of muscle building. So, you need nutrients that slowly digest and break down into energy to support your muscle building during your sleep. 

According to the National Institute of Health, bedtime meals with nutrients like protein, low carbs and essential amino acids can improve our sleep quality. Having quality sleep of 6 to 8 hours helps to release stress and strain build-up during intense training. While sleeping, your body produces the maximum amount of growth hormones, allowing your muscles to repair and recover so that you don't have to feel low in your strength when you wake up.

When you skip your night-time meal, there is a chance that you are also skipping an essential bodybuilding amino acid. In that case, your body may take amino acids from your hard-earned muscle and use them for energy production. Hence, having a nutritious, high-protein diet and essential acids like BCAA and methionine etc can fuel your body during sleep.

5 Best Bedtime Muscle Meals You Wouldn't Want to Miss

Now the question arises, what type of food would be best to consume in the dinner? Ideally, you should be having meals which are low in fats, non-oily and contain nutrients like carbs, essential amino acids and slow-digestive proteins. Here I will share 5 bedtime meals ideas with you that can satisfy your hunger without gaining weight.

  1. Cottage cheese salad.

It is a great night-time meal with less fats and more protein, carbohydrates and vitamins. Cottage cheese salad is not only rich in nutrients but has also gained popularity for taste. Rich in casein, it digests slowly and releases protein in your body throughout the night. Slowly releasing proteins maintains energy in your body to help muscles in their repair process.

  1. Chicken with grilled vegetables.

Chicken with grilled vegetables is low in calories and high in fiber and is a very good source of protein which is essentially helpful in building muscles. Grilled chicken and vegetables is a healthier option due to less oil used in preparation of the meal. They are also slow-digestive foods.

  1. Greek yogurt with berries. ( blue barriers, strawberries, raspberries)

Greek yogurt is a nutrient-rich food with low calories, which makes it ideal for bedtime meals. It has high protein and a good balance of carbohydrates. It also has calcium that improves bone health. Moreover, berries are a great source of fiber, soluble fiber and low carbs. Mixing barriers with Greek yogurts give a full course of nutrients which is perfect for repairing torn and overworked muscle all night long. Additional benefit is the great taste.

  1. Grilled fish with brown rice.

Grilled fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid, which is known as essential acids for muscle building and repair. Pairing it with brown rice, which has complex carbohydrates that provide sustained energy, makes a perfect match for bedtime meals for those who had an intense morning workout. This meal provides a balanced ratio of protein and carbohydrates.

  1. Protein shakes.

If you are not good at cooking, or do not have the time to prepare a meal then do not worry! We got you. Last but definitely not the least, comes "whey protein shakes".  You can make a delicious protein shake with whey protein. Adding some chocolate and nuts will also fill the requirements of other nutrients, making it an excellent choice for pre-bedtime protein boosters. They digest easily and release protein faster in your body. You can also use casein protein powder as it digests in your body slowly.

Bottom line.

A night of quality sleep give rest to the body from hard training as well as plenty of time for their muscle to repair and recover. As muscle repair and recovers from intense training, they build themself more sturdy and strong. To support the whole process of recovery and repair, you surely need to chug up nutritious food. Meals rich in protein and other nutrients give energy to muscles to go through these important processes so that your muscle won't go into catabolic mode and you won't be waking up feeling groggy in the morning. It has always been important for athletes and gym goers to eat healthy, and sleep properly to gain more muscle and reap good results from their workout. So don't skip your night meals and you will see the benefits yourself.

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