A recent review of previously published data indicates that protein consumed prior to overnight sleep stimulates protein synthesis
The synergistic effect between nutrition and exercise on the synthesis of muscle protein is well established. Resistance exercise stimulates muscle breakdown as well as an increase in skeletal muscle mass. Protein intake after exercise is required to avoid an overall loss in muscle mass. A bedtime protein shake have been found to assist in building muscles mass after resistance exercise and prevent muscle wastage in the elderly.
Majority of the athletes and people undertaking weight training consume protein shakes after exercise. The extent of the effect on muscle mass, however, varies according to the type, amount, distribution, and timing of the protein ingestion. Numerous studies have been conducted on consumption of protein shakes with varying conclusions. Recently researchers at NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism in Maastricht reviewed the available data in a paper published in Frontiers in Nutrition.
In one of the studies, Snijders and his team assessed the effect of bedtime protein intake in 44 healthy young men on a 12-week lifting program. As a part of the study, half of the participants received a pre-sleep protein shake containing about 30g of casein and 15 grams of carbs every night, whilst the others were given an energy-free drink. Although training effectively increased quadricep muscle size in both groups, increase was significantly greater in the group consuming bedtime protein, which was found to be associated with a greater increase in muscle strength and size.
Furthermore, late-night protein intake has not been found to affect sleep quality or increase the amount of fat stored. The team concluded that that protein taken last thing at night is effectively digested and absorbed during sleep. This in turn increases the availability of amino acids and stimulates the synthesis of muscle protein during overnight sleep. This effect is increased if pre-sleep protein intake follows exercise performed earlier that evening.
Sarah Rogen is a reporter for Truth Daily Mirror. She’s worked and interned at Huffington Post and Vanity Fair. Sarah is based in Arlington and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe oyster addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.