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Should You Eat Before Bed Time?
This is one topic is the basis of many myths and misconceptions that dominate 85% of locker room banter in most bodybuilding gyms. After all, this is the place where bodybuilders tend to dish out their advice and secrets to each other.
On one side, there are those that believe eating before bed has more muscle growth benefits than drawbacks. Then there's the flip side of the coin, where there are those that subscribe to the camp that believe eating late at night just before bed is the surest way of adding excess fat to your midsection and reversing the progress made while pumping iron.
Let's clear the air.....
Late Night Bites and Fat Gain
Truth be told, a majority of bodybuilders today avoid eating just before bed, fearing that the 'extra' calories consumed will be stored as fat. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. In as much as there could be some scientific truth behind that misconception, the bigger picture is that your body doesn't have a definite on-off switch for burning calories.
You will also burn calories even in the deepest slumbers of sleep as a lot of energy is still required to maintain the body's normal physiological processes.
If anything, the correct argument here should be; you will add weight whenever you consume excess calories not necessarily 'when' you consume them. This implies that excess calories during breakfast or lunch are just as unhealthy and detrimental as just before bed.
Carbs Before Bed
In line with this, some bodybuilders who take their supper just before bed often try to limit as many carbohydrates as they can from their late night snack. The reason being that you don't require as much energy when asleep compared to when fully awake and active.
Carbohydrates are the human body's primary source of energy - any that are not used up are stored as excess fat. But just like the argument on calories, it is more about the number of carbs consumed and not when you eat them. Therefore, if you are going to cut out carbs from your late night snack to maintain your well-trimmed and shredded abs, you might as well do so in every other meal of the day.
The Protein Enigma
Protein, as you may already know, plays a significant role in muscle repair and growth, and it turns out that you might benefit a lot by including a few chunks of protein rich food in your pre-bed snack.
A protein shake or protein-based food combined with fat, fiber and a few carbs is sufficient to maintain and support nutrient availability and muscle growth in your sleep. What's more, if you can incorporate a slow-digesting protein like cottage cheese, the better.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, whether you choose to eat just before bed or a few hours prior to hitting the sack, is far less important than taking into account your daily macronutrient and calorie intake.
Setting and meeting a healthy daily target is more beneficial to your gains at the gym than when you choose to take your meals.
So if you find it easier to get some sleep after dinner, then save a portion of your daily carbohydrates, fats and protein intake for your pre-bed meal. Otherwise, it is perfectly healthy to do so a few hours earlier.
The choice is yours – do whatever fits best with your body and lifestyle.....
About The Author
Making gains is what we're all striving to do every time we step into the gym. Whether we're looking to increase strength and size, or looking to shed some excess body fat. Diet and supplements play a big part of this process and is why the Turbo Bulk website was founded, to offer free advice to anyone who requires it.
Find the best training tips, supplement reviews or dietary advice to help you achieve your bodybuilding and fitness goals!
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