Whether you're looking to build lean muscle mass, or shred down and cut off some body fat, a diet with adequate amounts of high quality protein is key! We all know that protein consumption is vital for our body to function properly. Protein doesn't just build and repair tissues, it is also needed by our body to make hormones and enzymes. Whether bodybuilders, athletes, and regular gym-goers, the protein shake is probably the most popular and easiest source of protein. They're usually enjoyed after an intense and powerful workout for muscle repair or during breakfast for a quick blast of high quality protein to get the day started. But, did you know that protein intake before bed is also highly recommended to boost one’s fitness performance?
Protein is comprised of amino acids, which builds and repairs our muscles. Our muscles actually repair themselves and grow while we sleep, not at the gym while lifting weights and tearing down the muscles (this is a very common misconception). Growth hormone is elevated during this time, especially early in the night. HGH boosts growth in lean muscle and decreases body fat. Multiple studies have shown and proven that if you consume an adequate amount of protein (20-40 grams) right before bed, you’ll take full advantage of this spike in growth hormone and maximize muscle gains and fat loss. This happens because you’re providing the amino acids the body requires for repair and growth, and triggering what is known as MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis).
You see, your body goes through constant cycles of Muscle Protein Breakdown (MPB) and Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS). MPS is a biochemical process to grow, recover, and strengthen muscles, while MPB is the exact opposite. Exercising accelerates MPB, though protein consumption stimulates MPS and aids muscle building. At night, when you are resting, your body goes into MPB, but consuming protein before sleeping augments MPS throughout the night and helps build and repair muscle throughout the night.
So, which protein is best to take before bed? Well, not all proteins are equal when it comes to nighttime nourishment. For example, whey protein, while still very high quality, digests and absorbs rapidly. This will certainly stimulate MPS and increase metabolic rate while you sleep, but it will only be for a very short period of time. Meat proteins such as beef, chicken, fish are slower to break down and get put to good use by the body, but are much harder on the body to breakdown, and they can seemingly sit in the stomach all night which can cause gastrointestinal issues making it hard to fall asleep and/or stay asleep.
Now we come to casein protein. Casein protein is the king of bedtime proteins and here is why! Casein protein's greatest strength is it's timing. Casein has the unique ability to provide your bloodstream with a slow and steady flow and influx of amino acids that lasts for hours. When casein proteins are ingested, they dissolve very slowly from the stomach before eventually reaching the bloodstream. This creates a “timed-released” effect allowing amino acids to steadily make their way to the muscles over an extended period that typically lasts up to 7 hours. This alone makes casein the ideal protein to consume right before bed, and will be more beneficial than any other protein option.
Casein protein has also been clinically tested and proven to provide more substantial gains in lean muscle mass, improvement in metabolic rate to aid in fat loss, and yields greater gains in strength and power due to its anti-catabolic abilities. 100% Micellar Caseins such as Titan Nutrition Casein and Allmax Nutrition Casein FX are perfect for sustained anabolic delivery to maximize muscle gains, speed up recovery so you can perform at your peak every single workout, and heighten metabolic rate to aid in overall weight loss.