Body building

Bedtime Snacks with Protein Do NOT Trigger Fats Acquire

by Matt Weik

How many times have you heard that after 6pm or 8pm or just late at night (in general) you will eat fat? I've heard it and I'm sure you have it too. Magazines stuck it on their pages and books classified it as a no-no. Well, not that quickly. Snacks before going to bed do not necessarily have to be rated negatively. In fact, new research shows that your bedtime snacks don't affect how quickly you gain body fat. Here's what you need to know:

Snacks before bed are not bad as long as …

Listen, if you like snacks before bed, stop worrying about the clock so you don't eat after a certain amount of time. Research has shown that you don't have to worry if you consume high-protein snacks late at night.


However, research has some caveats. For starters, the research I'm talking about was done by Florida State University (this is not the limitation) and only women who were actively involved in weightlifting (the limitation) were used. One of the researchers mentioned: “For far too long, it was assumed that eating before bedtime causes metabolic disorders and makes you fat. However, the data simply does not support this when the food we eat before bed is protein-rich and small. "

This research is interesting because in the past, the most frequently reported studies on this topic dealt with men.

For this particular study, the researchers used casein protein (a slowly digestible protein) and a non-protein placebo that matched the taste of the casein protein shake administered. One group was asked to drink a shake (the placebo that participants did not know) after exercise and then the casein protein shake (also unknown to participants) just before bed. Because of the taste profiles, the women did not know that they were getting two completely different "protein sources" – even though one was not a protein at all. The second group was asked to drink the shakes in reverse (post-workout casein protein shake and placebo as bedtime snacks).

How the researchers assessed and measured the results came from examining lipolysis to determine the fat metabolism of each participant and examining fat oxidation using a breath test.

What did the researchers actually observe?

Following the study, one researcher said: "In women who exercise weight, there is no difference in local abdominal fat metabolism overnight or in total body fat burning, whether you use protein in the form of a protein shake during the day after exercise or take night sleep after training. So you can essentially eat protein before bed and not disrupt fat metabolism. There are so many misunderstandings about eating at night that it "makes me gain weight" or "slows down my metabolism". Research suggests that this is really only true if you eat a ton of calories and contain carbohydrates and / or fat. There are so many potential positive effects of eating protein at night, and it will be extremely important to bring all this scientific knowledge into society to try to change attitudes to these eating habits. "

The results of this research should be music for everyone and come to rest so that you do not gain body fat or body weight when eating snacks before going to bed (if it is protein). I have a few questions that researchers should answer, as there may be a different outcome than what was found in this particular study.


Follow up questions and concerns

We have to think about the protein source. While it makes sense for someone like me or you to look at a casein protein source because we know it's a slowly digestible and night-time beneficial protein, what happens if the source is a whey protein concentrate or isolate? Will that change the outcome? I would not assume that, but we all know that we cannot accept anything. In addition, the research was conducted with women who were actively involved in weight lifting. What happens if someone who doesn't lift weights eats protein-rich snacks before bed?

The casein protein shake was also a liquid source. While liquids are absorbed much faster than a solid food source, we also know from the above that casein is a slowly digestible protein. What happens if the person chooses a real whole meal with a high protein content? Let's say you eat a steak or chicken breast as a snack before bed. What happens then? Or even curd cheese? Will we see the same result or will the protein source change the result and the results? Could you gain fat if the protein source and digestive rate are changed?

Again, people who care about health and fitness understand the benefits of casein protein. But for ordinary people, they won't buy casein protein. But that does not mean that even fitness enthusiasts would do without casein, since taste and consistency are not necessarily desirable. Just a little food for thought (pun intended).

Brittany R. Allman, Margaret C. Morrissey, Jeong-Su Kim, Lynn B. Panton, Robert J. Contreras, Robert C. Hickner, Michael J. Ormsbee. Lipolysis and fat oxidation in resistance-trained women are not changed by the presleep compared to the daily casein protein intake. The Journal of Nutrition, 2019; DOI: 10.1093 / jn / nxz186

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