Mediterranean Diet 101

Health Benefits of Slow Digesting Bedtime Protein Shakes - Protein Shake Before Bed

blueberry-banana-smoothie-mMany people wonder what to eat in the evening before going to bed. Generally, before going to sleep, one needs slow digesting meal consisting of slow digesting protein source, healthy fats and fiber sources. Such meal feeds body with constant flow of nutrients for long period of time and must not be 'heavy' on stomach or cause any stomach discomfort.

stuffed beef recipeThese meals are made using lean protein sources like low fat or cottage cheese, lean cuts of meat, omega-3 or organic eggs. Healthy fat sources are, again, omega-3 or organic eggs, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, olive oil, fish oil. Good sources of fibers are various nuts and green and leafy vegetables. Such meals are excellent not only as last meals before bed, but also throughout the day for anybody wanting to become and stay fit. Unfortunately, it takes some time to prepare and to store for longer period of time such meals. This is where Meal Replacement Powders (MRPs) can come really handy.

 Protein Shake Before Bed

on-casein-mMeal Replacement Powders are usually some sort of protein in powdered form, combined with flavors, sweeteners, fiber sources etc. It is important to know that powdered protein sources can be different, for example, whey proteins are digested easily, within hour and thus are great for shakes right after workouts - obviously, it is not OK to drink whey protein shakes before bed. Egg protein is digested within several hours and is great for daily meals and snacks, while casein protein is digested very slowly – it takes 6-8 hours for body to digest and absorb it. Thus for daily snacks one should use MRPs based on protein blend of several protein sources, but for slow digesting bedtime protein shakes, casein protein powder is by far the best.

Making Protein Shakes

Making such shakes is easily – in dry shaker put scoop or two of your favorite casein powder (depending on your needs and preferences), add some milled walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts, add a teaspoon of natural peanut butter, some water and using hand stick blender, blend everything. If you want to drink it, add more water. Otherwise, eat it with a spoon – such shakes can be a real delicacy, especially during summer when refrigerated for 30 minutes, they have taste and consistency of ice-cream.

Protein Shake Before Bed - Weight Loss

bed-time-smoothie-mIn order to increase amount of slow digesting protein, one can add some low-fat or cottage cheese into the shaker – cheese will make shake thicker and increase amount of calcium. If you are ectomorph (you have very fast metabolism and you put on muscles very slowly), then add some milled oats – oats are great source of slow digesting complex carbs, healthy fibers and have many other beneficial macro- and micronutrients. Mesomorphs and especially endomorphs should be very careful regarding carbohydrate intake late in the evening or during night. Having such shakes as meals in the evening, lowers total amount of daily calories and thus leads to weight loss. Since protein intake is relatively high, if combined with regular workouts, lost weight is mostly fat, not precious muscles.

So, if you don't have much time for cooking proper meals in the evening, pure casein or casein based shakes and smoothies can help significantly in saving your time and helping you achieving your goal of staying fit and healthy. However, don't forget that only the real food is real food, no matter what supplement companies are saying.

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