Sleep yourself better with overnight protein

When you're constantly at work or on-the-go, it can be difficult to make sure you're getting the right amount of sleep for your body to recover. Consuming the right nutrition before you go to sleep can help to aid your recovery.

Sleep is crucial for your body to adapt 

We train so our body gets stronger and we gain in fitness when our body is put under stress. Sleep is the time our body responds to this stress and makes the physiological adaptations we are looking for. Whether you’re striving to lose body fat or develop lean muscle, providing a steady stream of amino acids, the building blocks of protein, is key.  

Milk protein is ideal for supporting lean muscle growth overnight 

For optimal protein feeding to support the growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass, 20-25g of protein every 3-4 hours is recommended (Witard et al, 2014 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24257722/ ). Fast-release proteins such as soy and whey are great to use post-training when you need to get amino acids as soon as possible. If you used these before bed however you would have to wake up during the night to keep topping up, which of course is not ideal!  

Milk is made up of approximately 20% whey protein, which is released quickly, at 8-10 grams per hour. The other 80% is casein, which is released much more slowly, at around half the rate of whey (Bilsborough & Mann 2006 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16779921 ). This makes milk protein the ideal choice for a pre-bedtime protein feed that should last you well into the night.  

Casein is high in essential amino acids 

For Goodness Shakes Protein shake contains 90% milk with added milk protein concentrate, making it a great source of casein. Casein is a quality protein, meaning it contains all amino acids, and is particularly high in essential and branched chain amino acids. Leucine is one of the key branched chain amino acids, which are important as they make up one third of lean muscle mass. Milk protein was actually found to be superior in supporting lean muscle mass gains compared to micellar casein alone due to it’s higher leucine content (Babault et al 2014 https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-11-36).   

Overnight protein is beneficial for everyone – whatever your goal! 

Researchers from Maastrict University in the Netherlands have been studying muscle protein synthesis for years, and published an updated review of their work in February this year (Snijders et al 2019 https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnut.2019.00017/full ). They demonstrated that whether you are looking to support lean muscle mass as a sports person or during an injury, a protein feed before bed is beneficial. The prolonged rise in amino acids in the blood stream will help to stimulate the production rate of new muscle protein.  

Try microwaving Protein chocolate for a tasty hot chocolate drink before bed that helps your body rebuild! 

Alex Brooks