Benefits Of Drinking A Protein Shake Before Bed

Studies have shown that pre-bed protein shakes can help accelerate muscle growth. Learn more about the benefits of drinking a protein shake before bed.

It’s becoming relatively common to drink a protein shake as a quick and convenient breakfast that you can have on the go. Some people even drink protein shakes as a replacement for a meal or as a snack before or after their workout sessions. However, did you know that there are also health benefits to consuming a protein shake before bed as well?

Protein shakes are known for their ability to help people build muscle. As protein is an important building block of muscle, you require a considerable amount of it in order to promote muscle growth. As such, they’re usually consumed around the time you work out or stress those muscles. However, it’s becoming relatively popular to drink a protein shake before bed as well.

Recently, studies have shown that protein ingestion before sleep can increase muscle mass and strength gains. This has caused many people to rethink the optimal time to drink a protein shake and also examine other potential benefits.

product-organic-mattress

brand symbol

Get up to 25% off any Natural Form® Mattress

How Much Protein Should I Be Consuming?

American dietary guidelines for protein suggest a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. This is the amount you need to fill basic nutritional requirements and ensure you don’t get sick. However, this can be lower or higher depending on your fitness level.

If you live a relatively sedentary lifestyle (such as working at an office or sitting down for most of the day) then you could get by with just 0.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. However, if you’re an active adult that works out on a regular basis, then you should consume up to 0.8 grams of protein or more depending on your body. In reality, everyone’s optimal protein intake is different and you should consult a nutritionist if you want exact values.

Unfortunately, some people find it difficult to consume this much protein in a day. For comparison, a whole chicken breast contains around 31g of protein. A sedentary person that weighs 80 kilograms would need to consume around one and a half chicken breasts to both fill their nutritional requirements and also promote muscle growth. For an active person of the same weight, they’d need to eat at least two chicken breasts a day to maintain their muscle mass and more if they want to grow it.

To make up for protein deficits, you can introduce protein shakes into your diet. This is what most people do if they don’t enjoy consuming chicken breasts or other sources of hard protein. But what exactly are the benefits of drinking a protein shake before bed instead of just filling your nutritional requirements?

The Benefits of Drinking a Protein Shake Before Bed

Building & Preserving Your Muscle Mass

Drinking a protein shake can enhance a process known as Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS). This process is essential for building muscle mass and requires protein in the body to work. MPS is one of two processes that our muscles cycle through with the other one being Muscle Protein Breakdown or MPB. Our muscles go through MPS and MPB on a regular basis, but you can easily tip over to the MPB side if you work out too much.

By consuming protein shakes before bed, you can accelerate the MPS process that occurs when you sleep. If you have enough protein before you go to sleep, it helps to preserve the amount of muscle you have while also promoting growth.

Improving Your Energy Levels

Lean muscle mass has been shown to boost your energy levels, giving you the ability to work out for longer and stay awake during difficult days. Your body adapts to the level of protein in your body which triggers an endurance response, leading to enhanced muscle repair and reconditioning as you sleep.

Assisting Your Weight Loss

For those trying to lose weight, drinking a protein shake before bed can actually help you burn calories. This is because protein pushes your metabolism which requires energy to absorb and digest the protein you ate. Since you’re using energy, it results in burning calories and thus weight loss. However, the protein itself contains calories and you need to take this into account if your focus is on losing weight.

If you want to lose weight with this tip, then make sure that the total number of calories you’re consuming from the protein shake still keeps you at a deficit when comparing the entire day. In order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than you burn in a day. This is heavily dependent on your lifestyle, body and diet.

Better Quality Of Sleep

A protein shake can actually push the amino-acid tryptophan into your system. This enhances the production of your “happy” hormone, serotonin, and also the sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. To increase the levels of tryptophan in your body, you can also mix protein powder with milk, yoghurt or soy milk.

FAQ's

Are there any side effects to drinking a protein shake before bed?

No, but only if you choose a protein shake brand that is low in sugar and other unnecessary ingredients.

Is there a limit to how many protein shakes you can have in a day?

It depends on your body weight and activity. We suggest sticking to the rule of 0.5 grams of protein per kilogram of your body weight.

Are there other foods that can help improve my muscle growth?

In general, anything that offers a high amount of protein can contribute to muscle growth.

Final Words

Protein has numerous benefits for our body, but we’re only just starting to realize that consuming protein at night definitely has some advantages in terms of weight loss and building muscle.