Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bodybuilding & eating before bed

There's no question that bodybuilders must eat far more calories than the average person to compensate for the calories burned during an intense workout, while still providing enough nutrition to build lean muscle mass.

However, some beginners may be confused about whether eating before bedtime is beneficial or not. According to Dave Picard, professional bodybuilder with a degree in health science and nutrition, a pre-bedtime snack is not only beneficial, it's essential for maximum results.


Bodybuilders must consume about 10 calories per pound of body weight to maintain their current weight, according to That's the bare minimum number of calories you need each day; every 500 calories you add to that total is equivalent to increasing your body weight by 1-lb. per week. Consuming this many calories can be tough to squeeze in during the day, so eating before you go to bed can ensure you're fitting in all those extra calories.

Muscle catabolism

Avoiding evening and late-night meals is a mistake for bodybuilders. Fasting for up to 10 or 11 hours between meals can lead to muscle catabolism, the breaking down of muscle tissue to be used as energy. This is counterproductive. You can avoid this problem by eating a small meal or snack prior to bedtime, and even eating a midnight snack if you wake up hungry.


The key thing to remember when eating late at night is to focus on protein-rich foods. The protein you consume will help repair damaged muscle tissue and support muscle growth as you sleep. Dave Picard suggests eating three or four egg whites or a cup of cottage cheese before you go to bed to supply your body with some high-quality, slow-digesting protein. A protein shake or weight gainer shake is also a beneficial choice just before bedtime, according to

Foods to avoid
Consuming simple carbohydrates is not a good idea late at night. Your body does not need that sort of energy while you're sleeping. states that simple carbohydrates are more likely to get stored as fat when consumed at night, so sticking to protein-rich foods is the best choice. Foods containing simple carbohydrates include candy, soda, sugar, fruit and syrups.