Contrary to popular belief, most of your improvement doesn’t happen in the gym. Instead, it happens overnight, while you sleep! When you work out, you create micro tears in your muscle tissue, but when you rest, those little tears heal and become stronger and bigger than before, so that they could withstand the next challenge. This is how our bodies adapt, but that’s not all that happens at night – your body also produces testosterone! When you sleep, your body produces more of it than at any other time of the day, so sleeping is crucial to improving your body and should be well nurtured to achieve the best results. This includes managing your diet, so you need to be careful about what your body processes, even during the night.
While people have been interested enough to write countless articles about what to eat before and after a workout, there are few and far between on what to eat before bed. So, here are six foods that are incredibly effective when eaten before sleeping, but you should consider adding them to your menu during the day as well, due to their sheer effectiveness at building muscle.
1. Casein Protein Powder
Everyone knows what whey protein isolate is, and millions are already consuming it. If you want to see it in action, go to any gym in the world and there will be someone there, wolfing down a smoothie with whey protein isolate in it. Casein is something else though, and it’s not getting nearly as much attention. Whey protein absorbs into your bloodstream incredibly quickly, giving you a near-instant nutritional effect which your body desperately craves after exercising.
On the other hand, casein digests really slowly, which comes in handy when your body isn’t ingesting anything for at least 8 hours. Breakfast has ‘fast’ in its name for a reason and you need to eat immediately after getting up, but before you do, your body will be satisfied if you consume something that will take longer to absorb, therefore keeping yourself fed throughout your REM cycles.
2. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt tastes amazingly and has a ton of casein, which digests really slowly. These are the reasons it exploded in fitness nutrition, making itself a staple. Also, it has a lot of protein so it helps a lot when you’re trying to put on some lean muscle on your frame. Just make sure to buy the ones without a metric ton of sugar inside – if you eat that stuff before bedtime, you’ll have trouble falling asleep and your recovery will suffer.
3. Cottage Cheese
Bodybuilders have been eating cottage cheese for a long time now, and you can either adore the stuff or despise it. Some lifters eat it multiple times a day, and some can’t smell it or else they’ll throw up. Remember, it doesn’t look the best, but it will help you look better. Cottage cheese has a lot of casein protein, but it also has an advantage over the powdered variety – you can eat it without preparation! Calculate what you want to do and buy a leaner or a fattier version and consume whenever necessary, but before bed as well! If you want to spruce it up a bit, put some peanut butter in it!
Avocados have a lot of healthy, monounsaturated fats which will help you raise your testosterone, which in turn, will boost your fat loss, muscle growth, energy and confidence too! Eat them with some eggs, which are also really popular with bodybuilders – this way, you’ll be eating healthy fats as well as protein with almost no carbohydrates involved, which is ideal before bedtime!
You can always eat almonds – there is no bad time to eat them. They have a lot of healthy fats which improve your testosterone production as well as your metabolism, and when you eat them with some protein, they will bring your protein absorption process to a slow. This is really important because you need your body to be absorbing as long as possible, to leave out less time for catabolism to take place during sleep. If there is food in your stomach, you’re not losing gains.