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4 protein snacks in the evening for athletes

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  • Protein-rich evening snack ensures optimal regeneration
  • How much protein before sleep?
  • The best protein snacks in the evening
  • Protein snacks make sense in the evening

Sitting in front of the television and happily shoving a handful of chips into your mouth is unthinkable for many athletes. After all, you have to keep your form. But you don’t have to forbid yourself a bedtime snack before going to bed, on the contrary: if you eat the right snacks in the evening, you can even support your muscle building and promote regeneration.

We’ll tell you here why a small protein snack or even a protein shake before going to bed is so effective.

Protein-rich evening snack ensures optimal regeneration

With a protein-rich evening snack you ensure that your body does not rely on protein from the muscles overnight. At night the body switches to recovery. He urgently needs this regeneration phase and uses it, for example, to repair the smallest injuries to the muscles, such as muscle tears that occur during training. This is the only way your muscle fibers can thicken and the muscles “grow”, as studies have shown. In contrast, insufficient protein intake would significantly lengthen the regeneration time.

And so that the body doesn’t steal the repair protein it needs from the muscles, it is important to provide it with enough amino acids (these are the small protein building blocks) overnight, which it can use when needed. A protein-rich late-night snack isn’t heavy on the stomach, no, according to the study, it is digested effectively, stimulates muscle protein synthesis and improves the protein balance of the entire body overnight. In addition, another study showed that these positive effects are enhanced by previous strength training.

With this training plan you will finally build visible muscles – even if you are over 40.

How much protein before sleep?

In the scientific work on this topic, protein amounts of 20 to 40 grams per serving were experimented with. According to this study, 40 grams of protein before sleep optimally stimulates the formation of new proteins in our cells (i.e. protein biosynthesis). However, positive effects occurred even with small amounts.

This study demonstrated an increase in muscle mass and strength in young strength athletes with around 27 grams of protein before bed.

The best protein snacks in the evening

To optimally supply your body with amino acids overnight, you can eat various foods. There are many protein-rich foods, but not all of them are equally suitable as a healthy bedtime treat.

Protein snacks right before bed (around 30 minutes before) should be high in protein, but ideally low in fat and calories. These foods are therefore ideal:

1. Low-fat quark before going to bed

Low-fat quark is particularly suitable as a bedtime treat because the protein it contains is mostly casein. Casein is naturally found in milk and, together with whey, forms milk protein. The special thing about casein is that it only enters the blood slowly. Perfect for supplying your body with amino acids all night long.

Spoon straight from the cup or would you rather pimp it first?

This is also proven by current studies that examined the effects of casein as a “pre-sleep snack”. Regular evening consumption is said to optimize muscle strength and muscle hypertrophy (or to put it more simply: muscle building).

A quantity of 250 grams of low-fat quark or Skyr before going to sleep is ideal because the portion provides you with around 32 grams of protein.

The catch: Unfortunately, it doesn’t taste that good on its own. So just close your eyes and get through it? That would at least be a possibility. Alternatively, you can refine the quark with low-calorie flavor powders, such as the bestseller from ESN “Flav’n Tasty”. This delivers taste and sweetness in one – with no added sugar and (almost) no calories.

2. Protein shake as a nightcap

Can’t you just sip a protein shake before bed, you ask? Sure, this is also a kind of “snack” and is absolutely allowed. A casein shake is ideal because, as mentioned in point 1, casein is digested more slowly than whey and supplies your body with protein throughout the night. But you can use both types of protein or a 3K protein (whey & casein in combination) with a clear conscience.

Depending on the type, a scoop protein powder provides around 25 grams of protein; the preparation (water or milk) is also crucial.

3. Boiled egg as a bedtime treat

It’s probably no surprise that eggs are full of protein. Boiled hard, they are a quick and easy snack – during the day and before bed. The (often underestimated) egg yolk provides all the important amino acids. Eggs also contain many vitamins and minerals – making them an absolute superfood. Known? These foods contain more protein than an egg.

One egg provides around 7 grams of protein

Since an egg “only” provides around 7 grams of protein, you can easily combine the snack with one of the other protein snacks mentioned.

4. Spoon cottage cheese in front of the TV

Grainy cream cheese is a good choice at any time of day – but especially before bed as a healthy and easily digestible evening snack. It delivers a whole load of protein without adding a lot of fat to your calorie count. A 200 gram serving (1 cup) provides you with between 22 and 25 grams of protein.

Protein snacks make sense in the evening

A small (protein-rich) bedtime treat before going to bed is now mandatory for all strength athletes. In this way, you can promote the development of muscle mass, prevent muscle breakdown and optimally support your body during nightly regeneration.

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