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5 Reasons to Have Protein Shake Before Bed

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Update: May 25, 2023
7 min read
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Written by

Manya Mishra
Content Writer
Protein Shake Before Bed

In today’s day and age, protein shakes are popular, especially among fitness enthusiasts and athletes. It is a drink that fetches myriad benefits, from weight loss to muscle building. While the most popular time to consume protein is usually after or before workouts, there can be a few benefits of protein shakes before bed. What are they? Just keep reading to know all about it.

How Much Protein Does The Body Need?

Now, healthy protein shakes are super good for you. But taking the right amounts is imperative.

Fitness LevelProtein Needs
Average/Sedentary0.5 grams of body weight
Adults in an active fitness regime
0.7 grams of body weight

Why Drink A Protein Shake Before Going To Sleep?

Protein is an important part of your meal because it helps repair and develop new cells and is the foundation of life and building blocks of your muscles. But protein powder before bed may sound off. However, it can be a boon for you because of its wondrous benefits. So, if you are still wondering if can I drink a protein shake before bed, the answer is yes, and all the benefits are given below.

Benefits of Drinking a Protein Shake Before Bed

Is it bad to drink a protein shake before bed? No. When you consume protein shakes at night fetches you these benefits that can improve your overall health. 

Builds and Preserves Muscles

As mentioned earlier, protein is vital for your muscles. Consuming the right amount of protein helps maintain muscle mass and promote growth. While you can take your protein shake before or after the workout but a whey protein shake before bed can also help you here. Why? Because according to a study, properly distributing your protein intake helps build and preserve muscles, including protein as a pre-sleep drink. 

 In another study, 44 healthy men were observed. They were put on a 12-week weight-lifting program along with protein shakes as a part of their diet. One half of the group was given 30 grams of protein shake with casein before bed, while the other received a placebo. In the end, the group with nightly protein shakes saw increased muscle and strength. 

Even if you are just looking to preserve muscle, consuming protein shakes at night can be an advantage. In a study, 40 grams of casein powder was given to older adults and they saw an increase in muscle protein synthesis rates. Now, in older adults, the muscle mass goes down because of minimal activity but protein shakes before bed can help them maintain their strength without having to go through any strenuous workouts. 

 Improves Energy

Protein is an excellent source of energy. It gives you the fuel you need to ensure you work out for long periods. In one study, it was seen that taking about 40 grams of protein before bed was able to promote skeletal muscle adaptive response. This is how much you can endure and train.    

Accelerates Weight Loss

For someone trying to lose weight, protein is a boon. In one study, it was seen that taking a casein protein shake before bedtime helped people avoid any craving first thing in the morning. This can avoid you from indulging in a heavy breakfast in the morning. Also, consuming protein before bed boosted your metabolism in the morning. When you have a faster metabolism, you can burn more calories in the morning, aiding weight loss.  

Enhances Sleep Quality

You must have heard of how warm milk or chamomile tea can induce sleep before bed. However, a protein shake right before bed can help you with the same. Protein shakes allow tryptophan in your system, which releases serotonin, a happy hormone, and melatonin, a sleep hormone. To amp it up, you can always mix it with a glass of plant-based milk or regular, depending on what you prefer, as milk is a rich source of tryptophan. 

Prevents Late Night Cravings

If you are trying to avoid binge eating at night due to weight or any other issues, protein shakes for weight loss before bed can be great. Now, a food craving is unlike regular hunger. It makes you want more even though your body has had enough because it’s your brain looking for a reward

One study found that increasing protein intake by 25% could reduce cravings by 60% and reduce your desire to eat something at night. So, if you regularly feel like munching something when you go to bed, a protein shake at night could help you out.

Types Of Protein Powder

You now know how protein before bed can be good for you. But let’s now look at the type of protein powders available to make good protein shakes.

Whey Protein 

Whey protein is extracted from milk. If you have ever witnessed the cheesemaking process, you must have noticed the liquid that separated from the curdled milk. That’s whey. While it is rich in protein, it is also high in lactose, and not everyone can easily digest it. However, the isolate version contains significantly less lactose as most of it is lost in the process. 

Whey is rich in branched-chain amino acids or BCAAs. This plays a crucial role in building your muscle and healing after a long intense workout. Infact in one study, it was seen that whey protein was able to enhance lean mass and decrease fat mass.

Casein  Powder

Again, casein comes from milk and it can be easily digested and absorbed by the system. When you take a casein powder protein shake, it forms a gel in the stomach. This mingles with the acid produced by the stomach, which slows and delays the absorption of amino acids, reducing muscle protein breakdown. 

Casein powder can be helpful for weight loss in those who opt for strength training. One study found that when fewer calories were consumed and casein was the choice of protein, it can improve the body’s composition better than whey. 

Egg Protein 

Eggs are one of the best protein sources available today. They have the highest digestibility-corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS). However, in most cases, egg protein powders are made of egg whites. While they are still excellent, they may offer slightly less fullness as the protein-rich yolk is missing in them. After whey protein, egg protein shakes can be beneficial. 

Pea Protein 

If you are a vegetarian, pea protein powder is an excellent choice. It is also perfect for someone who wants to avoid eggs. In one study, a 12-week program was conducted with 161 men who consumed 50 grams of pea protein where muscle thickness increased the same way as those who consumed whey protein.

Hemp Protein 

Today, hemp protein is gaining immense popularity. While it is related to marijuana, hemp protein doesn’t contain psychoactive components. There is still research needed but it is seen that they are digested easily. 

Brown Rice Protein Powder 

When it comes to vegan protein powder, brown rice has been around for quite some time. But the only disadvantage is that it is low in lysine but still has all the essential amino acids. In one 8-week study, it was found that taking 48 grams of protein resulted in the same body composition, muscle strength, and recovery as whey protein.

Best Natural Protein Sources

While protein powder can be great, you can also incorporate natural protein sources into your diet. 

Almonds 

Almonds are an excellent source of all the essential nutrients you need, such as fibre, vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium along with high protein.  You can easily add them to salads, curries and more. They are super beneficial for your health.  

Cottage Cheese 

Cottage cheese or paneer is low in fat yet high in protein. It can be perfect for weight-watchers and someone trying to build lean muscle. Apart from being an excellent source of protein, cottage cheese also offers phosphorus, selenium, vitamin B12, vitamin B2, and several other vital nutrients. Also, research suggests that consuming paneer can help you remain fuller for longer just like eggs. You can include it as a snack or even a complete meal. From grilled cottage cheese to adding it to curries, it is a versatile food product that makes fulfilling dishes. 

Peanut and Peanut Butter 

Peanut or high-quality peanut butter contains nutrients, such as folate, magnesium, protein, and vitamin E. And another advantage of consuming peanuts is that it keeps you fuller for longer. So, for someone who is trying to lose weight, peanuts can be superb. Infact, adding peanut butter to a high-carb meal can keep your blood sugar levels in control.

 Lentils 

Lentils are a staple in every Indian household. While dal may not excite you every single day, it is super rich in protein. It also includes fibre, folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese. Also, regular consumption of legumes and lentils can lower the risks of several health conditions, such as heart disease and fatty liver. 

Milk 

A glass of milk every day can be good for you. It offers you high protein and includes calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin B2. However, if you are lactose intolerant, then today you can find lactose-free milk and cheese, which you can consume. And if you are a vegan, you can also choose plant-based milk products, such as cashew or almond milk. 

Chicken Breast 

If you are looking for a protein-based meal to help you with weight or muscle mass, chicken breasts can be great for you. Along with protein, it also offers vitamin B, zinc, and selenium. Also, chicken breasts are easy to chook in and so versatile as you can make various things, from sandwiches to curries. 

Eggs 

Eggs are full of nutrition and give you the protein you need. The protein from eggs is also easily absorbed and offers antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fats. Egg whites are also a great source of protein, but taking it with egg yolk can be healthy for you.

Conclusion

Protein shakes can be great for you before bed. You can always choose a flavour that you love so you can enjoy it like a delectable drink. If protein powder is not for you, you can also have protein-rich food to help you out.

FAQs

Is it OK to have a protein shake before bed?

Yes, infact, protein shakes can be beneficial when you consume them before bed. Take a look at these benefits in the above blog.

How long before bed should I drink a protein shake?

You can consume protein shakes about 30 minutes before bed.

Which protein is best before bed?

Casein protein is considered best before bed.

What happens if you drink protein shakes without working out?

If you drink protein shakes without working out, it can;

  • Lead to less muscle gain
  • Unwanted weight gain 
  • Puts you at risk of kidney-related problems 
  • Elevates blood sugar levels

Is 9 pm too late for a protein shake?

No, you can consume protein shakes before bed.

Does protein burn fat at night?

Yes, taking protein shakes before bed can help burn extra calories and enhance muscle protein synthesis rates.


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Written by

Manya Mishra
Content Writer
Bachelor's Degree in English Literature 7 years of experience as a content writer Has experience writing for various industries, including health and wellness, travel, and technology

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