When you are training to gain size, it’s important to eat the right foods. How you snack throughout the day can make or break your workout progress. So what snacks work best for muscle growth? Should you eat something light before bedtime? In the fitness industry, there’s a lot of controversy about late night eating. Some claim that eating before bed is essential for muscle gain, while others say that this habit leads to fat gain.
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. However, this doesn’t necessarily apply to those who want to lose fat.
Here are some late night snack ideas for lean muscle gains:
Cottage cheese is a staple in any bodybuilder’s diet. One cup has only 163 calories and six grams of carbs. 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. This healthy snack goes well with avocados, cucumbers, tuna, almonds, and greens.
Eggs are packed with protein and amino acids. If you’re hungry at night or want to have a quick snack, make yourself an omelet. Add some mushrooms, bell peppers, spinach, or chicken breast for extra flavor. Eggs are a great choice due to their high protein content. They also provide significant amounts of copper, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Casein is a slow digesting protein that promotes 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. It’s also one of the highest quality sources of protein available. Most bodybuilders drink casein shakes or use casein powder for preparing healthy snacks and desserts such as 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. 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. Avoid eating carbs before bedtime. Unless you’re on a ketogenic diet, limit your fat intake in the evening. Choose high-protein snacks that provide your muscles with a steady flow of nutrients.