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The Absolute Best Bedtime Diet to Boost Muscle Growth and Recovery

For bodybuilders and athletes, the two most important meals for maximum muscle growth and recovery are right after a workout and right before bed. Many articles discuss proper post-workout nutrition; however, in the bedtime theme, the theme becomes a bit more blurry. This is an important decision as the night triggers muscle repair and body growth. By sleeping, the body spends its time repairing itself from previous workouts and getting stronger and bigger for the ones to come.

Problems arise when the body does not have enough nutrients at night to properly repair and rebuild the body’s muscles. If you are getting the optimal amount of sleep (8 to 10 hours), the body enters a fasted state. As the body realizes that it does not have enough nutrients for muscle recovery, it will slow down these processes so that it can sustain itself. The key is to delay this from happening for as long as possible.

The perfect bedtime meal should solve two problems. The first is that you should prevent the body from going into a fasted state for as long as possible in order for the body to optimally recover the muscles. The second is that it must be formulated correctly nutrient-wise so that you don’t gain excess body fat from it. As you can see, the first and second problems get complicated, as too many calories will cause you to gain fat, and too few will not lead to optimal recovery.

So what is the absolute best diet for bedtime? The best thing you can eat before bed is the following. Have a cup of 2% milk mixed with half a tablespoon of casein protein and then eat an apple. Casein protein is a slow-digesting protein that will deliver a steady supply of nutrients to the body throughout the night. Milk is important as it will also slow down digestion. Also, the fat in milk is important because it will be used primarily to repair cells in the body. The apple will provide simple and complex carbohydrates that will supply nutrients to the body early and late at night. Also, the insulin response to this meal will be relatively low due to the mix and match of calories from multiple sources of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Now, the amount of this meal may need to be adjusted, as larger individuals may need more calories for optimal recovery; however, for most people, the apple and casein protein shake should do the trick. Also keep in mind that for days when your workouts were very intense, you may need to eat more of this same food, so that your body has all the calories it needs.

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