The 4 Best Foods To Eat Before Bed [Part 2]

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The 4 Best Foods To Eat Before Bed

The 4 Best Foods To Eat Before Bed: There is one caveat to this rule. If you have exercised within 1 – 3 hours before bed, then carbs are acceptable. Intense exercise essentially acts like an accelerated fast, and muscle contractions can dramatically increase insulin sensitivity by increasing blood sugar uptake independently of insulin. As a matter of fact, taking in carbs with protein post-exercise improves muscle recovery and energy replenishment all while potentially increasing fat loss. It’s at this unique time when carbs are most likely to be stored in the muscles for energy, while fat is to be burned for fuel.

While insulin is notorious for its ability to put the breaks on fat burning , leading to fat accumulation, glucagon is well-known for its ability to counteract the effects of insulin. Specifically, glucagon secretion results in an increase in fat burning, and also inhibits the release of insulin. Like insulin, glucagon is secreted by the pancreas; however, it is released in response to low levels of blood glucose and is stimulated by certain amino acids. As a matter of fact, high protein meals stimulate the secretion of glucagon from the pancreas, which results in an increase in fat burning.

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This leads us to our second important point about food-making decisions before bed:

Focus on high-protein foods.

Powerful Protein

It should be now clear that high-protein foods are far more favorable than highcarbohydrate foods for pre-bedtime feedings. Protein stimulates the release of the hormone glucagon, which accelerates fat burning and inhibits the release of the storage hormone insulin. Remember what we said that the beginning: by choosing the right foods, you can not only avoid weight gain, you can promote fat loss.

There are many other reasons to focus on a higher protein intake at this time. A highprotein snack not only encourages fat loss, but it also promotes overall health and supports the recovery and maintenance of our calorie-burning lean muscle.

High-protein diets also lead to better weight loss profiles than high-carbohydrate diets at the same calorie level. What’s more, high-protein diets spare lean muscle mass and help prevent a decrease in metabolic rate that is typically associated with reduced calorie diets and weight loss. Protein-rich foods are unique in that they induce a greater sense of satiety than other foods, which means that they’ll best satisfy those late-night cravings. In addition, protein is calorically expensive to digest, absorb, and assimilate. It has a much greater thermic effect of feeding than other nutrients, which means that you’ll increase your metabolism by reaching for protein.

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4 Best Foods Before Bed 1Not all proteins are created equally, however. It appears that at this late juncture in the day, slow-digesting proteins are the superior choice. First of all, fast-digesting proteins like whey lead to an insulin response that rivals that of heavily-processed, high carbohydrate white bread, and we already know that we want to do our best to keep insulin in check before bed.

What’s more, fast-acting whey protein results in a dramatic but short increase in availability of amino acids, while slower-digesting proteins (e.g., casein) induce a much slower, sustained release of amino acids that can provide up to 7 hours of sustained nutrition, to cover nearly the entire overnight fast.

As a matter of fact, consuming slow-digesting protein before bed helps to stimulate muscle growth and improve whole-body protein balance if you’ve exercised earlier in the day, offering body composition benefits while you sleep. Researchers noted:

“During sleep casein protein was effectively digested and absorbed resulting in a rapid rise in circulating amino acid levels which were sustained throughout the remainder of the night. Protein ingestion prior to sleep increased whole-body protein synthesis rates … and improved net protein balance …”

You will also find the next part in the series where we discuss the 4 best foods to eat before bed here.