We’ve all been there at some point. It’s getting late, it’s time for bed, but you start feeling hungry. You are not going to cook a healthy meal at this hour, that’s for sure. So you might just get a late night snack, right ?
However, a late night snack could destroy your workout and diet progress. How do you know which snacks are healthy and can help you keep your gains instead of destroying them ? Should you just eat something light before bedtime?
In the fitness industry, there’s a lot of controversy about late night snacking. Some claim that eating before bed is essential for sustaining lean muscle mass, while others say that this habit leads to fat gain. To be honest, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
If you want to get bigger or preserve muscle mass, it’s a good idea to have a protein-rich snack before bedtime. At the same time though, you need to watch the calories and the amount of carbs you consume in order to prevent weight gain.
Healthy late night snack ideas
Here are some snack ideas that are guaranteed to curb hunger, support muscle, while at the same time not adding too many carbohydrates that will make you gain excess fat.
Cottage cheese is a staple in any bodybuilder or fitness athlete’s diet. One cup has only 163 calories and six grams of carbohydrates. It also provides a whopping 28 grams of protein and large amounts of calcium, iron, selenium, and vitamin A.
Getting enough calcium in your diet will strengthen your bones, improve cardiovascular health, and promote fat loss. Low fat cottage cheese contains all the essential amino acids required for muscle growth without adding too much calories to the snack. This healthy snack goes well with avocados, cucumbers, tuna fish, almonds, and greens.
A cup of cottage cheese with some greens will satisfy your hunger and keep you satiated until late morning.
Ok, we said you were not going to cook, but making an omelette is a five minute job. Eggs are packed with protein and amino acids. If you’re hungry at night or want to have a quick snack, make yourself an omelette.
Add some mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, or chicken breast for extra protein and flavor. Eggs are a great choice due to their high protein content. They also provide significant amounts of copper, calcium, iron, potassium, as well as zinc and magnesium to help you sleep better.
Eggs are also an amazing food that will help you lose excess fat, you can read why here.
Casein is a slow digesting protein that promotes both muscle growth and fat loss. It is higher in calcium than other types of protein and allows for a steady release of nutrients into the bloodstream. Recent studies have shown that casein helps promote colon health better than soy and meat (read the study here).
It’s also one of the highest quality sources of protein available. Most fitness athletes drink casein shakes or use casein powder for preparing healthy snacks and desserts such as high protein pancakes or ice cream.
Greek Yogurt with Nuts or Flaxseeds
Greek yogurt is rich in probiotics and contains twice as much protein as regular yogurt. It also has a thicker, creamier texture and a delicious flavor. Due to its high content of protein, Greek yogurt makes a great snack. It also promotes digestive health and keeps you full longer periods of time.
You can mix it with almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, and even peanut butter. This type of yogurt contains less lactose than other dairy products, so it’s safe for those with lactose intolerance.
Looking for more healthy late night snack ideas? Try low fat peanut butter, celery sticks and cottage cheese, protein pancakes, veggie sticks, or low carb protein bars.