Many people who work out have no choice but to train in the evening. Whether that’s after work or a few hours later, training near the end of the day is still a much better choice than not exercising at all.
If you have worked out late in the evening – The type of protein and carbohydrates you need to refuel after your workout are very important. Fast digesting carbohydrates and protein isolates are vital after a workout. Slow digesting proteins would be ideal just before bedtime.
Fast-digesting carbs are a driver, meaning they help fuel the muscle-building process, delivering protein and other nutrients to muscle tissue more quickly. They also help restock your muscle glycogen stores burned during training, and drive glutamine and tryptophan to your brain, which calms you down for a better night’s sleep. Also known as high glycemic index carbs, fast-digesting carbs come in several forms, which include natural, whole foods, and processed or packaged foods, Please try and stay away from the process and packaged foods. Healthy fast digesting carbs of vegetables include green peas, parsnips, white potato, sweet potato and yams. Certain fruits like bananas and blueberries are great and white rice is a fast digesting carbohydrate.
For slow digesting proteins, cottage cheese or Greek yoghurt is a great example of late night snack because it contains slow digesting proteins called casein. Casein is found in higher concentrations in cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. Casein’s unique effects arise from how it’s absorbed and digested. Unlike whey, casein is absorbed slowly, increasing but not spiking blood amino-acid levels. Casein’s anti-catabolic properties result from these sustained increases in blood amino-acid levels, which is ideal for optimizing the balance between muscle breakdown and muscle building. Steak, pork, chicken, turkey, salmon and sole are just some of the options for slow-release protein from the meat category. While the protein in these foods digests slightly faster than casein, meat-based protein breaks down slower than that from legumes or grains. Foods such as peanut butter or almond butter pack a large amount of protein, calories and dietary fiber in each serving. Fiber breaks down slowly in your stomach, causing the protein from nut butters to release slowly and prolong fullness.
Research shows that casein eaten late at night can improve muscle building and recovery from exercise while you sleep. Avoid Whey protein supplements/shakes at this time and go for Casein protein supplements/shakes. Also avoid simple carbohydrates like certain fruits, fruit juices and sugary foods, Remember, it’s all about what will help your muscles recover and grow during sleep.