Matt Stirling | September 20th, 2017| 2-min read
Muscles are broken down in the gym, then refueled in the kitchen and repaired while we sleep. If you lift, you know this makes sense, but so often, quality anabolic sleep is overlooked when it comes to achieving maximal muscle growth.
At its simplest level, we just need to understand that when we train (weight train), we get micro-tears in the muscle fibers of the tissue being worked. And the amino acids that we break down from the protein sources we eat are then what initiate muscle repair. When we fall asleep at night, this is where the body maximizes this process as everything else shuts down and hormonally the body becomes anabolic.
In todays article the point is to have you understand the importance of what you consume before hitting the sack, and how you can maximize your muscle growth. Why? It’s quite simple, it’s because your body requires optimal nutrition for the rebuilding process while you sleep. Therefore, what you consume in the hours before sleep, can have a very big impact on your muscle growth.
With this short article, I’m going to cover some simple foods that can ingest before bed to optimize your muscle recovery and growth. Now, with that being said, you still need to ensure that your calories are in check, and meal timing throughout the day is on point to create an anabolic environment.
Anabolic Foods To Consume Before Bed:
#1 – Paneer
Each ounce of Paneer cheese has about 4grams of slow digesting protein (casein protein) that can supply a steady release of amino acids over 7-8 hours while you’re sleeping. This is something that you can easily add to a side salad along with your chicken or steak.
Remember, when combining multiple protein sources you also ensure that you’re getting “complete proteins”. Try adding this to your diet if you’re not sensitive to dairy.
#2 – Butter Glazed Chicken
Adding grass fed cow butter or Ghee to your chicken breast will add some great fat content to the meal. Plus it tastes great compared to having plain chicken breasts. Don’t fear the fat!
One of my favorite recipes is a Miso – Butter – Garlic pan seared chicken breast with a little onion and then serve it with your choice of veggies that are doused in olive oil and a little sea salt.
#3 – Casein Whey Protein Shake
One of the easiest options for adding in some quality protein before bed is to simply add a casein powder shake to your evening snack. Adding in 1-2 tbsp of natural peanut butter to your shake is another great way ro add a couple hundred calories from slow digesting fats and make the shake a little more enjoyable too.
Feel free to also add a pinch of cinnamon to keep your insulin down at night so you can also promote easier Growth Hormone release. (When insulin is up, growth hormone may be surpressed).
#5 – Salmon
Salmon is a perfect pre-bed food source because it’s high in protein content and contains plenty healthy omega fats. Many people tend to fall short with getting their omega fats in. Ingesting foods salmon periodically, can go a long way to supporting your overall health!
Add salmon with salad to add bulk and fiber for the perfect low-carb option before bed especially if you’re trying to keep your six-pack in check.