Whey protein is commonly used as supplementation to improve lean muscle mass growth and boost muscle protein synthesis.
But what is it?
Milk is made of two proteins: whey and casein protein. Whey can be a by-product of cheese making, and it’s considered a complete protein because it contains all essential nine amino acids. More so, it has low lactose content.
Early mornings are considered the best time for exercises and taking a post-workout protein powder beverage is common among health-conscious individuals.
However, a study by the American Society of Nutrition show taking whey protein before bed can enhance your muscle size, strength, and fiber intake.
Whey protein comes in three primary types, namely:
- Whey protein isolate– Whey protein isolate (WPIs) are processed to remove lactose and fat. They are usually 90% protein and ideal for weight loss.
- Whey protein concentrate – Known as WPC, they contain low levels of carbohydrates and fat. Higher-end concentrates have about 90% protein while the lower concentrates have about 30%.
- Whey protein hydrolysate – Whey protein hydrolysate (WHP) goes through partial hydrolysis to make it quickly absorbed in the body. It’s more digestible than the others.
Benefits of Whey Protein Before Bed
Drinking a whey protein shake before bed can improve energy, muscle mass, enhance sleep quality, and accelerate weight loss.
Enhanced lean muscle mass improves your energy level to enable you exercises for more extended periods. The study shows a protein supplement before bed boosts muscle repair and skeletal muscles’ adaptive response.
The adaptive response indicates that your muscles have the endurance for resistance and rigorous training. Having a whey protein shake before you sleep will lead to muscle reconditioning and repair. This will increase your strength for an effective workout.
Let’s face it, muscle-building and protein go hand-in-hand. It’s full of amino acids, which are the building blocks for strength. Your body needs to synthesis protein more than breaking it- especially if you want to build muscles.
Taking protein at bedtime improves overnight MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis), a crucial biochemical process for building muscle mass.
The muscles often go through a cycle of Muscle Protein Breakdown (MPB) and MPS. However, prolonged resistance and strength training hastens muscle protein breakdown. Protein ingestion before bedtime maintains an outstanding balance between the two cycles, leading to muscle growth.
Taking enough whey protein before bed helps to build and preserve muscles at rest. Whey contains amino acids, which are responsible for building muscle mass.
Working out might lead to decreased amino acids level in your body. If you’re not balancing it with a high-protein diet, taking a protein shake before sleeping is highly recommendable.
Enhanced Sleep Quality
We have all been there. The alarm rings after a sleepless night, and you’ve to wake up with a sore head. Lack of enough sleep can make you irritable, poor concentration, and fatigued. On the other hand, seven hours of quality sleep will make you spring out of bed feeling bushy-tailed, ready to tackle the day.
Apart from a regular workout routine, drinking a protein shake just before bedtime will promote quality sleep. This is by pumping essential amino acids into the body system.
The acid tryptophan promotes the production of serotonin hormone- a happy hormone- and melatonin (sleep-inducing hormone).
Sleep is as crucial to your mental health as it’s to the physical health. Lack of adequate sleep can lead to an increased stress level.
When in a deep sleep, your brain releases HGH into the bloodstream. The human growth hormone improves muscle tissue regeneration and repair.
Accelerates Weight Loss
Protein plays a crucial role in the weight loss phase. Getting enough protein content can curb your appetite, enhance your metabolism and help you lose fat while maintaining muscle mass.
Drinking whey shake is the way to increases protein in your diet, especially if access to high-protein food is limited.
Protein shakes decrease appetite and hunger by making you feel fuller for longer. Your body requires more energy to digest the protein you took before going to bed.
However, you need to watch your intake and the number of calories the protein adds to your diet. In a weight loss program, you need to eat fewer calories. However, the calorie deficit will depend on weight, age, level of physical activity, and height.
Low protein intake makes muscle tissues break down, leaving you with a sagged skin. Taking whey protein before bed can prevent sagging skin, leaving you with a lean, well-toned body.
Recommended Daily Amount
Not getting enough protein will affect your body and health composition. However, you should be careful not to consume too much. Excess protein is not effectively utilized by the body and might impose a metabolic affliction on the liver, bones, and kidneys.
It can also be associated with health issues, such as coronary heart diseases or even cancer.
High protein intake can halt your weight loss journey. It may also lead to bad breath, and flossing or brushing won’t get rid of the smell. Constipation, diarrhea, and increased cancer risk are some of the effects of high protein ingestion.
So, what is the recommended amount?
When it comes to protein supplements, the recommended dosage is usually 1-2 scoops. That means 25-50 grams of protein per day. Ensure you follow the protein consumption instructions on the label.
But if your dietary intake of protein is already high, drinking whey shakes might not be necessary. If you experience some discomfort, such as cramps, diarrhea, bloating, and gas, try switching to whey isolate powder.
Before you take whey protein, ensure you get a clean bill of health from your health provider. If you have any underlying liver or kidney issues, you may want to avoid protein intake.
Who Should Take Weigh Protein Before Bed?
Taking whey protein before bed is a no-nonsense, effective, and quick way to get protein into your system. However, this doesn’t mean everyone should take it.
For a person who strength and resistance-trains at least 3 to 4 times a week, taking whey protein makes a lot of sense.
More so, if you want to build muscles and accelerate muscle recovery after vigorous training, then whey protein should be on your bucket list as a bedtime protein.
But you should note that whey protein can increase inflammation. People who have lactose or dairy allergies might experience gastrointestinal distress if they drink whey protein.
There are also some concerns that too much whey protein can increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Whey Protein Before Bed FAQs
Does taking whey protein before bed cause you to gain weight?
Whey protein is easily digestible and contains an incredible range of essential amino acids.
Numerous studies show that it boosts strength, muscle builds up, and losing weight. However, the product contains other nutrients like calories, which may have biological effects.
Whey protein isn’t tasty on its own; that’s why it usually has added flavors like chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. Others might have additives such a refined sugar, which is unhealthy. That’s you should read the ingredients.
Taking the recommended amount, 25-50g- per day, effectively makes you lose weight.
But if you exceed the recommended amount, you risk adding weight due to increased calorie intake. Thus making you add weight.
Will taking whey protein before bed disrupts my sleep?
Whey protein shakes are popular health supplements among athletes and bodybuilders. This is because they’re rapidly digestible and stimulate protein synthesis.
But taking whey protein before bed might disrupt your sleep. The added sugars in the supplement lead to a surge of energy and increased fat stores, and weight gain.
If you want to boost your sleep, you may want a lower-sugar, lower-calorie protein shake.
Can you take whey protein before bed if you do not exercise regularly?
Whey is a popular fitness supplement, and there is nothing inherently wrong with it. But a following a high-protein diet for an extended period entails lots of risks, especially if you’re not on a muscle-building routine.
A sedentary adult requires only 0.4g of protein per body pound.
A typical scoop of whey powder mixed in one glass of low-fat milk contains more than 200 calories. This means, if you meet your dietary protein intake and drink a shake daily, you could gain more weight.
If you exercise regularly, your risk of gaining unwanted weight will be lower.
So, taking whey protein before bed when you’re not working out regularly may be unnecessary.
Are there any disadvantages associated with taking whey protein before bed?
If you’re allergic to milk, you may be specifically allergic to whey protein. To some people, it may increase inflammation. Whey protein does not cause any adverse effects, especially in moderate doses.
However, when consumed in large doses, it can cause:
- Fatigue – High quantities of protein before bed can disrupt your sleeping pattern. You end up waking up tired and with a headache.
- Reduced appetite
- Stomach pains
There is sufficient evidence to support the importance of whey protein intake for building muscle. If activity levels and daily calorie intake are taken into consideration, taking whey protein before bed can be helpful to preserve and build muscles. It can also aid in recovery as well as promoting weight loss.