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Why Do Protein Shakes Work Best Before Bed?

If you're considering using protein shakes to help your body recover from strenuous swimming workouts, you've probably heard a lot about how drinking one after practice is a good idea. But what are the benefits of drinking a protein shake at night before you get a full night's sleep?

Let's dive in.

It's well known that nutrient timing after a workout is important due to the depletion of stored energy and damage to muscle fibers during exercise.

Consuming protein after a workout has been shown to change muscle protein balance from a negative state to a positive state (see figure 1 below). Currently, that protein ingestion stimulates muscle protein synthesis for roughly 2-3 hours, after which rates start to decline.

Adapted from: Trommelen J & van Loon LJ. Nutrients. 2016 Nov.

Adapted from: Trommelen J & van Loon LJ. Nutrients. 2016 Nov.

The average athlete is up between 5-7 am, has a semi-nutritious meal after their workout (say 8 am), then will eat again during lunchtime (12-1 pm). Their second workout is later on in the afternoon/evening around the 3-7 pm time, and then they will consume dinner. The issue that occurs here is, that after 10-11 pm (2-3 hours after eating dinner), those muslce protein synthesis rates again begin to decline (see figure 1 above). During sleep, from 11 pm-6 am, which is the most critical recovery time and when there are no physical demands on the body, your body begins an overnight fast. Yikes!

An ideal recovery period.

Nutrient timing is a normal practice among athletes for maximizing training while facilitating muscular repair and recovery. Currently consuming protein pre/post workout has received a lot of attention, while consuming protein before bedtime has not. Recent studies have shown that compared to a placebo, consuming a casein-rich supplement increases whole-body net balance and leads to incorporation of the casein-derived amino acids into muscle protein.

We sleep to recover, to recharge, and to help us in getting ready to take on the next day's challenges. It's a critical 5-10 hour time period when there are next to no physical demands on the body. It's a critical time to ensure you give your body all the nutrients it needs so it can do exactly that. Studies have shown that supplementing with protein before bed results in significant elevations of muscle protein synthesis throughout the night. But what kind of protein is best: casein or whey or some other protein?

Adapted from: Trommelen J & van Loon LJ. Nutrients. 2016 Nov.

What's the best pre-bedtime protein? Studies point to casein.

So far, all studies determining the effectiveness of pre-sleep protein ingestion on exercise have provided casein protein, which is characterized as a “slow release” protein. Compared to the “fast” whey protein, casein results in a more modest and sustained increase in blood amino acid concentrations, especially over periods longer than 3-4 hours.

To take advantage of this overnight muscle repair, you should aim for casein, a slow absorbing protein. Doing so allows the protein to enter your bloodstream and muscles slowly but steadily, delivering a constant supply of amino acids to your body. Studies show that muscle protein synthesis during the night was 22% higher when casein was consumed before going to bed. Casein is the best option since it has been proven that it increases this protein synthesis process for almost seven hours

You need more than just protein before bedtime.

Protein is critical to proper human function, but it is one of the many crucial nutrients the body needs to function properly. We as organic living beings need a whole host of other nutrients to survive, ranging from the macro-nutrients (protein, fats, and carbs), to the micro-nutrients (vitamins, and minerals).

As we stated earlier, ensuring you give your body the nutrients it needs during sleep is not only critical but crucial if you want to take yourself to a new level. As athletes, we look for every possible advantage as we pursue to be the best. As an athlete, if you don't ensure your body has what it needs during sleep (nutrition and a decent amount of time sleeping), it will have a sub-optimal recovery, which can lead to decreased performances during workouts and races, or even worse lead to illness or injury.

THE PERFECT PRE-BEDTIME SHAKE

It's got casein, whey, and a whole host of vitamins and minerals designed to speed up recovery, promote muscle synthesis all for less than $1.66 per serving. It's the perfect pre-bedtime treat.

The P2Life Promise

P2Life is a company built by athletes, for athletes. As athletes, go by the saying "rather have it and not need it, than need it and not have it" and over the course of 4 decades P2Life has been perfecting the perfect pre-bedtime shake that not only provides you with casein but also with critical other proteins, carbs, vitamins and minerals. The NutriBoost Shake provides your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal recovery, to promote better sleep, build a stronger immune system and be healthier.

As we stated earlier, ensuring you give your body the nutrients it needs during sleep is not only critical but crucial if you want to take yourself to a new level. As athletes, we look for every possible advantage to be the best. If you don't ensure your body has what it needs during sleep (nutrition and a decent amount of time sleeping), it will have a sub-optimal recovery, which can lead to decreased performances during workouts and races, or even worse lead to illness or injury.

If you are looking to take your sporting career to the next level or feel you have hit a plateau and need a little extra help, give our core product, the NutriBoost Shake a try. You will not regret it.

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