Training at Night and Protein Before Bed Keeps You Jacked!!!
by: Robbie Durand
In addition to resistance training, protein ingestion may play a major role as a regulator of muscle mass and recovery from exercise. Whey is considered to be a high-quality protein source containing significant amounts of essential amino acids, important in the protein synthesis, and also fast acting compared to many other protein sources such as casein. It is thus possible that addition of whey, when used chronically in conjunction with resistance exercise may be more anabolic for skeletal muscle than ingesting only normal mixed meals throughout the day. A previous study reported that high-quality whey protein intake before and after resistance exercise appears further to augment resistance training-induced muscle hypertrophy in previously subjects. Whey protein isolate intake close to resistance training workouts may alter mRNA expression in a manner advantageous for muscle hypertrophy.
What about Protein Before Bed?
Nighttime eating, particularly before bed, is a topic that has received considerable media attention in recent years. Over the past decades, it was thought that health and weight conscious individuals should limit and/or avoid food in the hours close to nighttime sleep because it would negatively impact health and body composition. During sleep is the longest period in which protein is not consumed so many fitness coaches recommend to increase muscle mass, add a protein shake before bed. Dietary protein ingestion before sleep could be used as a nutritional strategy to compensate for lean muscle mass, especially for older adults. Researchers set out to determine is giving older adults a whey protein shake before bed combined with a late night resistance exercise protocol could increase lean muscle mass.
Researchers had older adults assigned to two groups:
-40 grams of casein protein shake and exercise (i.e. The exercise group performed a single bout of resistance exercise (6 sets leg press and 6 sets of leg extension) between 7:45 and 8:45 PM, while the control group did not.
-no exercise and just protein before bed
At the end of the study, both groups who drank protein before bed had elevated protein synthesis but the group that exercise in the evening and consumed protein before bed had more. The protein with no exercise group had 27% elevated muscle protein synthesis even without training, whereas the evening exercise and pre-bed protein had 30% greater increases in protein synthesis. Resistance exercise performed in the evening augments the overnight muscle protein synthetic response to pre-sleep protein ingestion and allows more of the ingested protein-derived amino acids to be used for muscle protein synthesis during overnight sleep in older men.
Key Points: Taking Protein Powder Seems to Enhance the anabolic response to resistance exercise if performed in the evening. Even if you do train in the morning, it seems prudent to consume a protein drink before bed.
Holwerda AM, Kouw IW, Trommelen J, Halson SL, Wodzig WK, Verdijk LB, van Loon LJ. Physical Activity Performed in the Evening Increases the Overnight MuscleProtein Synthetic Response to Presleep Protein Ingestion in Older Men. J Nutr. 2016 Jun 8. pii: jn230086.