NIGHT-TIME INGESTION OF PROTEIN CAN INCREASE STRENGTH AND MUSCLE MASSARE YOU EATING, EXERCISING, AND SUPPLEMENTING ALL DAY, ONLY TO PUT YOUR MUSCLES ON STARVATION RATIONS THROUGHOUT THE NIGHT? THAT'S A RECIPE FOR CATABOLISM AND LOST GAINS.
High-quality protein intake is an important part of every bodybuilder’s routine. The milk proteins, whey and casein, are extremely popular due to their overall high quality. Research conducted in the 1990s told us that whey protein digests faster and casein protein digests slower. As a result, it is commonly recommended for casein protein to be ingested at nighttime. While this recommendation has been in place for over 10 years, no research study had ever examined if consuming casein protein at night had any measurable impact. Until now.
Recently, a study was published in the Journal of Nutrition
that required 44 young men to follow a 12-week resistance training program and consume either a protein (27.5 grams) + carbohydrate (15 grams) supplement every night before sleep or a non-caloric placebo (Snijders et al. 2015). When the protein supplement was provided, strength was found to increase when compared to placebo. In addition, both groups experienced significant increases in muscle cross-sectional area, but the increases in the protein group were 75% greater than when the placebo was provided. The authors concluded that protein ingestion (especially casein ingestion) before sleep represents an effective dietary strategy to maximize gains in strength and muscle mass while following a resistance training program.
Scientific Reference: Snijders, T., P. T. Res, J. S. Smeets, S. van Vliet, J. van Kranenburg, K. Maase, A. K. Kies, L. B. Verdijk, and L. J. van Loon. 2015. "Protein Ingestion before Sleep Increases Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Healthy Young Men." J Nutr. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.208371.