You’re in the middle of your winter bulk and the day has been filled with nothing, but chicken and rice. While pacing your kitchen for that perfect end of the day meal that will not only satisfy hunger but also help pack on some healthy poundage, you think to yourself, “What can I eat to grow tonight?” Don’t end your day on a bad note by reaching for a back of chips or that plate of Christmas cookies. Do yourself a favor and eat some good food/supplements to further your goals and help feed your body throughout the night so you wake up the next day ready to smash your goals and crush the gym.
If you’re in the process of bulking , a protein shake may be the last thing you want to turn to, as the chances are you’ve had 2/3 of these during the day. Being able to mix it up and add in another whole food source is a great way to help with digestion and to keep your body fed throughout the night.
Although a little higher in fat, cottage cheese is a great form of casein protein (slow-releasing) that will help you grow at night. Since your carbohydrates are probably done or nearing completion, use this time of day to make it one of your highest protein and highest fat meals. Cottage cheese just straight of the tub can be a little bland; try to mix it up by going the sweet route by adding some cinnamon, vanilla extract and your favorite Myprotein Flavdrops and you’ve got yourself a high protein “dessert” to eat right before you hit the sack.
Casein Protein Powder
One of the most convenient and easiest ways to end your night with a growth hormone spike is by choosing to down a casein shake. It’s not the most glorious tasting of meals, but electing to drink a casein shake is one of the best decisions you can make to help you grow at night.
Different than drinking just straight whey protein for either a pre or post workout shake or just throughout the day for a snack, casein powder or a casein/whey blend slows down digestion in order to feed your body throughout a full night’s sleep. Some of the best blends include around a 4:1 casein to whey blend in order to feed your muscles right away with the limited amount of whey and fulfill your immediate hunger and the casein to feed your body throughout the night while you are fasting.
If you don’t think you can handle another shake in the day, try mixing up a packet of sugar-free pudding (flavor of choice) and stick to the packet instructions. Then, mix in 1-2 scoops of your choice of casein protein powder. Top with some pistachios, almonds or walnuts and you’ve got yourself a healthy, before-bed protein pudding dessert!
Whether you’re bulking, cutting or maintaining, eating a healthy dose of fats at night will help feed your muscles and spark a hormonal response to build new muscle. The fats play a crucial role in digestion with protein at night as well; it slows protein synthesis way down. Unlike a pre or post workout meal where you want protein absorption to be incredibly high and quick, the last meal of the day you want to be the exact opposite. Choosing to forego another high-carb meal full of rice, oats or pasta, and electing to throw back some almonds or add a couple of spoonful’s of your favorite nut butter, will help slow down the digestion of your slow-releasing protein and help keep your body fed for a longer period of time.
If you’re not a big fan of eating nuts or maybe have a nut allergy, elect to stream some olive oil directly into your nightly shake. Although it may sound a little unorthodox, you can barely taste the difference and the healthy fat content is exactly the same.
Protein is essential for muscle growth. To grow at night it is important to consume a slow-releasing protein. This not only feeds your immediate muscle needs, but also keeps you in an anabolic state throughout the night. And since your carbs should be lower at night when energy is not needed, your fats can be a lot higher right before bed as well. This will aid in slowing down the protein absorption as well as keeping you fed throughout your entire night’s sleep. Use these tips and incorporate these recipes into your nightly routine to keep your body growing, even as you sleep.