How Protein Before Bed Can Promote Muscle Growth

Protein Before Bed: Best For Weight Loss?

If you are interested in losing weight, then it’s very important to consume high quality proteins before bed. When you eat a meal, your body breaks down the food into amino acids which are essential for building muscles. These amino acids must be consumed at night when they’re most needed. Therefore, eating a protein supplement before bed will make sure that your body gets enough of these nutrients during sleep time.

However, there are many benefits of consuming protein before bed. One benefit is that it helps increase the amount of calories burned throughout the day.

Another benefit is that it improves mental alertness and concentration. A third benefit is that it promotes lean muscle mass growth. So, if you want to lose weight or build muscle, then eating a good quality protein before bed might be beneficial for you.

How Much Protein Should You Eat Before Bed?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. However, this recommendation doesn’t include any fat content. If you want to maximize the effect of protein supplements on weight loss, then you need to add some fat to the diet. Fat provides energy and keeps your metabolism running smoothly throughout the day. Some fats are better than others for this purpose so it’s up to you whether or not you should consume them before bed or not. You should also avoid trans and saturated fats as much as you can since these are known to cause heart diseases.

It’s best to stick with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats as these have been shown to have positive effects on the heart. Good fat sources include fish, nuts, seeds, olives, and avocado.

If you want to gain weight, then consume about 0.4 grams of fat per pound of bodyweight. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds, then eat 72 grams of fat per day.

After eating your fill of fat, consume the rest of the required protein. However, there is one disadvantage with eating protein before bed and that is it’s very hard to estimate how much exactly you should eat.

Your body weight plays a huge role in how much you should eat since heavier people need more protein than lighter people. A good rule of thumb is to consume between 0.5 grams and 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight. For the 180-pound person mentioned earlier, this would be between 90 grams and 180 grams of protein daily.

Protein Before Bed And Muscle Mass

As we have seen in the last section, consuming a lot of protein before bed can help you gain muscle mass. The reason behind this is that your body uses amino acids, which are broken down by the proteins you consume, to repair damaged muscle tissue.

While you sleep, your body naturally repairs the muscles you’ve broken down throughout the day. So if you don’t give your body any extra amino acids, it won’t be able to repair itself effectively and this will lead to muscle loss.

Now, muscle loss is not the same as muscle gain since muscle loss means that you are depleting your body’s supply of lean muscle mass. This can have many negative effects on your body, such as a lowered metabolism and weaker bones.

On the other hand, muscle gain means that you are putting on more lean muscle mass which can improve your physical appearance and boost your self-esteem.

But how exactly can you tell if you are gaining or losing muscle?

There are two easy ways to tell if you are losing or gaining muscle mass. The first is to learn and understand your body. If you’ve been working out consistently for quite awhile, then you should be able to tell if you’re gaining or losing weight. If it’s mostly lean muscle mass, then you’ll feel stronger and look more toned as opposed to just looking skinnier. The second way is to get yourself tested. Make an appointment with your doctor or a medical lab for a muscle test. The results should tell you whether or not you’re gaining muscle mass or losing it.

Are There Any Negative Effects?

There are some downsides to consuming large portions of protein before bedtime, although they are fairly rare and only affect certain people so you might not experience them at all. The biggest potential problem is sleep disruption. Consuming a large amount of protein at night, especially one that is high in fat, can keep you awake by causing heartburn or by making noises (such as belching or gas passing). If this happens to you then you should reduce the amount of protein you eat before bed or choose a different type of protein supplement.

Another risk is that your body fails to digest all the food you gave it because it’s asleep. This can cause ‘sleep eating’ in which you get up and make your way to the kitchen to eat more food.

Obviously, this is a problem because you’re likely to keep eating until all the food is gone which can lead to weight gain. To avoid this, don’t leave anything else other than protein powder and water near your bed before you go to sleep.

The final risk of taking protein before bed is that it gives you wicked dreams. Some people claim that taking protein keeps them from dreaming, but others say that it causes vivid dreams.

Since dreams are naturally made of images and sounds, the amino acids in the protein can interfere with this causing you to see and hear things that aren’t real. Obviously, this isn’t harmful to your health but it is pretty weird and might just be annoying to some people.

How Much Should I Take?

There is no exact measurement on how much protein you should take before bed because this depends on many factors such as your weight, activity level, and the type of protein you’re taking. As a general guideline, it is suggested that if you’re a woman, you should consume about 30 g of protein and if you’re a man, you should consume about 60 g of protein. Now if you weigh more or are very active then you should double those numbers. As for the type of protein, you should consume at least 20 g of a complete protein (ex. whey) but no more than 40 g because any more than that may cause unwanted digestive problems.

What Kinds Are There?

There are many different types of protein powders out there but all of them fall under one of two categories: complete and incomplete. A complete protein is one that contains sufficient amounts of all nine essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) while an incomplete protein lacks in one or more amino acids. Since your body cannot produce these amino acids on its own, they must be acquired through food.

Complete proteins are hard to come by in the modern diet so it’s a good thing that there are many different protein powders available for you to take advantage of. To get the most out of your protein, make sure that it is a complete protein.

Whey and casein are the two best sources for complete proteins.

The Different Types Of Protein


Whey has long been known as the king of protein powders. It contains all the essential amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own and is readily absorbed by the body.

Whey is made during the process of turning milk into cheese and is separated and gathered in batches. It can be found in the liquid or powder form and both have their own pros and cons.

Sources & references used in this article:

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Exercise, protein metabolism, and muscle growth by K Tipton, RR Wolfe – International journal of sport nutrition and …, 2001 –

Effects of supplement-timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy by PJ Cribb, A Hayes – Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2006 –

Bed rest impairs skeletal muscle amino acid transporter expression, mTORC1 signaling, and protein synthesis in response to essential amino acids in older adults by MJ Drummond, JM Dickinson, CS Fry… – American Journal …, 2012 –

Protein ingestion before sleep increases muscle mass and strength gains during prolonged resistance-type exercise training in healthy young men by T Snijders, PT Res, JSJ Smeets, S van Vliet… – The Journal of …, 2015 –

Mechanisms of muscle growth and atrophy in mammals and Drosophila by R Piccirillo, F Demontis, N Perrimon… – Developmental …, 2014 – Wiley Online Library

Eating for recovery before bed.. Facts vs Myths (lets debate) by Y BOIRIE, M DANGIN, P GACHON, P VASSON… –