Your muscle building efforts shouldn’t end with dinner.
If more mass is your goal and you find it harder and harder to pack it on, you may need to extend your healthy eating habits closer to bedtime.
Afraid of gaining fat? Well, if you’re stalling and plateauing with getting bigger and stronger, you shouldn’t shun nighttime feeding. As long as you keep things clean by ingesting mainly protein and healthy fat, you will give your body something to use to build muscle while you sleep.
Proteins are the building blocks for your muscles – are you getting enough of them? Or maybe the more important question is this: are you providing your muscles with enough protein to last all through the night?
Eating big and heavy before bed will result in body fat gains, but snacking on the right type of food about an hour before you go to sleep brings good news for your muscles. We’re not talking about cookies and ice cream here. Optimally, your snack should count from 200 to 250 calories, consisting of plenty of quality protein and an adequate amount of healthy fats, and the one-hour window gives your organism enough time for proper digestion.
Check out these healthy late night muscle building meals that will help your body building and rebuilding muscles while you sleep instead. Best of all, they are simple, quick and easy!
1. Deviled Avocado Eggs
One eggs provides more than six grams of high quality protein, which makes it a staple food in the bodybuilding diet. But stop demonizing the yolk – it’s rich in vitamins and minerals and actually contains all the healthy fatty acids that eggs have to offer, so eating whole eggs is important for getting all their essential nutrients. Besides all that, we love eggs because they can be prepared in so many ways and they play well with lots of other foods too.
2. Cottage Cheese and Almonds
Cottage cheese has been relegated down the protein list lately, largely due to the popularity of Greek yogurt, but it’s still one of the most effective and convenient sources of protein around.
Packed with both whey and casein forms of the muscle-building macronutrient, cottage cheese should be on the grocery list of anyone who craves variety in protein.
1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese and 1 ounce of almonds will provide you with a total of 326 calories, including 10 grams of carbs, 33 grams of protein and 15 grams of fat.
3. Casein and Flax
Casein protein, is a particularly good source of slow-digested protein that will boost your metabolism during sleep and prevent muscle breakdown.
A recent study has shown that consuming 40 grams of casein within 30 minutes of going to bed leads to greater muscle protein synthesis. Mix some flaxseed oil in your shake to further slow the protein digestion. Flax is especially rich in plant omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber and consuming flasxeed oil can improve feelings of satiety, help lower the blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of liver disease and even relieve symptoms of depression. In addition, 28 grams of casein proten powder and one tablespoon of flaxseed oil together contain 221 calories, including 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fat.
4. Greek Chia Yogurt
You have to be living under a rock to miss hearing about the benefits of Greek yogurt. Loaded with live and active cultures to help with motility and digestion, the Greek variety boasts a significantly higher protein count than normal yogurt. This makes it a perfect muscle-building food without the unwanted calories.
Chia seeds have recently arrived in the health circle as a super food. Chock-full of benefits such as high in fiber, loaded with anti-oxidants, high in quality protein, and high in omega-3 fatty acids, chia seeds are small but pack a huge punch. Simply add the chia seeds to your yogurt.
The combination of one cup of yogurt and one tablespoon of chia seeds counts 180 calories, including 23 grams of protein, 14 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fat.
5. Whey Protein And Peanut Butter
Relatively cheap, convenient, available in many flavors, and easily digested, whey protein is a staple in many (if not most) gym-goers’ supplement regimens. Whey contains a superior amount of essential amino acids along with an ample supply of the coveted branched chain amino acids (BCAAs). Adding it to your menu is a no-brainer.
Natural peanut butter, or other healthy varieties such as almond, is a tasty way to get your healthy fats and have a little treat along the way. Adding natural peanut butter to anything somehow makes it taste better, but watch the calorie count, as it’s easy to go overboard. Add some to whey protein powder to make a pudding-like treat. Add a little water as needed. A mixture of 28 grams of whey protein and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter count 288 calories, including 28 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs and 16 grams of fat.