Whey protein before bed has shown excellent nutritional benefits that can aid in muscle strength, recovery, weight loss, and muscle preservation while you’re sleeping. It will give you energy for the morning to come.
Many say that taking whey protein before bed can give you added health benefits. But is it really the best time to take this supplement? Is it the best type of protein to take before bed? How much do you need? Is it okay to drink multiple protein shakes?
We’ll answer all of these questions so that you know what to add or take away from your bedtime routine.
Should You Take Whey Protein Before Bed
Whey protein can be taken at different times throughout the day for various reasons. The most common time to take a whey protein shake is after a workout, so your muscles have the added amino acids to aid in recovery.
Taking whey protein in the morning can help with weight loss and keep you full throughout the day.
But are there benefits of taking whey protein before bed? Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if taking whey protein before bed will benefit you and help you reach your nutritional goals.
Pros Of drinking A Whey Protein shake Before Bed
Increase Your Metabolism
Taking whey protein before bed can increase your metabolism. Your body recognizes the extra nutrients it’s getting and amps up its metabolic speed to digest the protein you just ate.
Increasing your metabolism can help your body burn fat overnight and aid in your weight loss goals.
If you are using whey protein for weight loss, you’ll want to consider the extra calories you are ingesting.
Whey protein can add anywhere from 100-400 extra calories to your daily intake, depending on what you mix it with.
Be sure to calculate your whey protein shake or supplement into your daily calorie goals.
Increase Muscle Growth and Recovery
Whey protein is known to increase muscle growth and help your muscles recover after strenuous exercise.
Taking whey protein before bed can help your body strengthen its muscles and repair muscle damage from the day’s workouts.
This is especially beneficial if you tend to exercise later in the evenings. Your body’s main goal during sleep is to recover and prepare for the next day’s activities.
Providing your body with those extra nutrients overnight can improve this process.
Morning Energy Boost
Protein not only improves muscle health, but it also increases brain health. Whey protein can help you feel more focused and nourished when waking up and starting your day.
This is due to the fact that your body is processing many healthy nutrients throughout the night that feed your body and your brain.
More Affordable Protein
Whey protein can be a cheaper overnight option compared to other proteins. Casein is the most common protein supplement taken before bed due to its slow digestion. Casein is a lot more expensive than whey, making whey a more affordable alternative.
Cons Of Taking Protein Before Bed
Whey protein supplements can have some simple sugars in the ingredient list, especially if you opt for a flavored powder.
Sugar can raise your blood pressure, which causes an energy rush in your body. This can disrupt your ability to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
If this is something you are concerned about, be sure to carefully read the ingredient list on your whey protein supplement.
Opt for an all-natural supplement that doesn’t have added ingredients such as sugars and carbs.
Whey protein with added sugar can also increase your body’s insulin production. Insulin is the hormone that controls the amount of sugar or glucose absorbed by your blood. Increasing insulin can result in unwanted weight gain.
When adding any kind of supplement before bed, you want to be careful with how many calories you add to your diet.
Many people like to mix whey protein with a shake that may include fruit, peanut butter, or other ingredients. Although healthy, these ingredients add to your daily caloric intake.
If counting calories is part of your diet or weight loss goals, be sure to calculate your whey protein shake into your daily calorie goal.
Although whey protein can increase your metabolism, your body does not do a sufficient job of burning these calories overnight.
Compared to other proteins, whey protein is digested relatively quickly once ingested. This means that your body is getting a quick dose of nutrients rather than a slow release of these nutrients throughout the night.
This can mean that whey protein’s benefits wear off early on in your sleep cycle. Since these benefits are not carrying over to your morning, the benefits of more energy and higher metabolism will not be as effective once you wake up.
Final Answer: Is Whey Protein Before Bed Good or Bad
Taking whey protein before bed does have some added health benefits, but you’ll want to be careful when consuming this supplement at night.
If your goal is to lose weight and manage cravings, taking whey protein before bed may not be the best choice.
Adding extra calories right before bed can actually cause weight gain. If you are carefully choosing your whey protein and are keeping your caloric intake low, whey protein may increase your body’s metabolism as you sleep.
The results are minimal when taken at this time. If weight loss is your goal, casein protein may be a better alternative.
Having a whey protein shake in the morning can be more beneficial for weight loss as it helps you stay full and avoid cravings throughout the day.
Whey protein before bed may be a good practice if you exercise in the evening. Providing extra nutrients to your muscles after exercise can help your muscles grow and strengthen, and if you are exercising later in the day, you will see some great benefits from whey protein overnight.
The bottom line is to think about your goals and what benefits you want from your whey protein. If you think whey protein before bed can benefit you, there is no reason not to try it.
How Much Whey Should I Have Before Bed
If you believe whey protein before bed will work best for you, the next question is, how much whey should you take?
According to a pre-sleep protein ingestion study, adding 40 grams of protein before bed with exercise can help improve skeletal muscle strength and recovery.
If calories are a concern, adding 40 grams of protein adds about 160 calories to your daily intake. Check your protein supplement’s nutrition label to get an exact number and add this to your daily caloric intake goals.
How Does Protein Effect Your Sleep
A study from Purdue University showed that participants who were using protein for weight loss also began seeing an increase in sleep quality after about four weeks on a high-protein diet.
This suggests that diet can have a significant impact on your ability to sleep soundly throughout the night. A restful night’s sleep can have a massive impact on so many areas of our daily lives.
If you struggle with falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night, adding protein before bed might make a big difference.
Does Protein Before Bed Burn Fat
A common question that tends to come up when discussing the benefits of whey protein is will drinking protein make you gain weight?
The answer to this question depends on how you are taking your protein supplement.
Taking protein before bed can increase your body’s metabolism, which can help your body burn fat.
This is a plus if you are using whey protein for weight loss, but you have to be careful when adding a protein supplement to your diet.
Protein supplements can be high in calories and have added ingredients such as sugars or sweeteners.
Many people also like to add their whey protein supplement to a shake or smoothie, which can also add unnecessary calories to your diet.
Taking whey protein before bed can enhance your metabolism, but if you are adding too many calories before bed, your body will have a hard time burning it off as you sleep. The key is to keep your caloric intake low and stick to natural ingredients.
Many people use protein shakes as a meal replacement, so is it okay to drink a protein shake on an empty stomach?
There are no significant reasons why you can’t. If your body reacts negatively and you experience cramping or bloating, try adding your protein to a shake with peanut butter or fruit for some added sustenance.
Whey Protein Ingredients
Whey protein comes from milk and is created through the process of making cheese and yogurt. The whey by-product is then isolated and made into a powder, thus giving you whey protein concentrate.
This powder contains 75-85% pure protein. The other 15-25% consists of healthy fats and carbohydrates. Whey protein also has a small amount of lactose, which can cause some digestional discomfort.
Whey protein can be processed even further, creating a whey protein isolate. When this process occurs, most of the fats and carbohydrates are taken out, which leaves about 90% pure protein.
This purification process means there is less lactose in the final product, which may be beneficial for those who are lactose intolerant or sensitive.
What is the Best Protein Powder to Take Before Bed
The most effective night-time protein is a supplement that digests slowly. This allows your body to gain all of those nutritional benefits over your entire 6-8 hour sleep schedule.
Whey protein is a fast-digesting protein, which means the nutrients are absorbed quickly in the first few hours of sleep.
Casein is a slow-digesting protein that can give you nutritional benefits for longer. This is ideal for a bedtime supplement since your body is spending quite a few hours in a relaxed state.
A slow-digesting supplement can gradually feed your body during this relaxed state, meaning you are going to feel more of its effects when you wake up in the morning.
Instead of taking a protein supplement, you can also eat foods high in protein before bed. Some great foods for protein intake are cottage cheese, greek yogurt, eggs, poultry, and fish.
Peanut butter is also a popular protein supplement that is commonly recommended. Is peanut butter a slow-digesting protein? Yes! Peanut butter has many healthy fats and proteins that are slowly released in the body as you sleep.
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How Much Protein Does the Body Need
The recommended amount of protein your body needs per day is about 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.
The right amount of protein differs between each individual and depends on many other factors. These factors include age, activity level, diet, and current state of health.
So how many protein shakes can you have per day? Again, it depends on your body and your nutritional goals.
Most people get enough protein from a healthy, well-balanced diet. Understand your protein supplement dosage and your personal deficits. Adding additional protein to your diet has little benefits.
One protein drink between 20-40 grams of protein should do just fine. Consulting with a professional nutritionist or dietician can help you get an exact number for your health and nutritional goals.
Whey protein can be a great addition to your diet if you lack protein. Taking whey protein before bed can have some added benefits but may not be right for everyone.
There are pros and cons for taking protein before bed, and they mainly depend on your own personal goals and needs.
Whey protein before bed may be an excellent choice for you, but everyone is different. If you need more information, consult with a professional to determine what’s best for you.