Those athletes who want to improve both their recovery and muscle growth need a proper protein supply in their diet. Actually, one of the most important moments to take protein is when we sleep.
The Importance of Protein to Adapt to the Workout
Protein plays a key role when it comes to adapting the skeletal muscle to the workout.
A single workout session stimulates the synthesis of muscle protein and the breakdown of muscle protein to a lesser extent.
Adaptive Response of the Muscle
Taking protein in the diet stimulates the protein synthesis. Therefore, it increases the accumulation of muscle protein after an strength and resistance workout.
Consequently, this leads to a better adaptive response of the muscle to exercise, resulting in a more efficient muscle conditioning.
Consequently, there are dietary strategies that are being designed to enhance the post-workout protein synthesis
When to Take Protein
Apart from the amount and protein source that we take during the post-workout recovery, there is a another crucial factor when it comes to taking protein. We are actually talking about the moment when we take it in order to regulate the post-workout anabolism.
In fact, a post-workout protein supply results in a more positive protein balance when compared to a supply after several hours after the exercise.
Moreover, recent studies suggest that taking carbs and protein before and/or during the workout can increase the accumulation of muscle protein after the workout even more.
Protein Synthesis during the Night
Most athletes who do exercise late in the evening usually take 20-25g of high quality protein during or after the workout. This is done to increase the accumulation of muscle protein during the post-workout recovery phase.
But this strategy does not allow a sustained increase of the muscle protein synthesis rate during the following recovery.
Therefore, a low muscle protein synthesis rate while we sleep could be due to a limited amino acid availability during the night.
Consequently, a good strategy could be to provide protein while we rest in order to increase the plasma amino acid levels.
Amino acids While Sleeping
It has been proven that protein are properly absorbed while we sleep at night. Moreover, they also increase the plasma amino acid levels, stimulating the synthesis of muscle protein. All in all, it improves the protein balance of the whole body while we sleep at night.
A shake of time released proteins before sleeping is a perfect strategy
Take Protein Before Sleeping
So, we could say that it is really advantageous to take protein during the night since it stimulates the accumulation of muscle protein.
A study selected a group of athletes who performed a single strength workout session in the evening (8:00 p.m) after a full day of dietary control.
All the participants followed a proper recovery diet (20g of protein and 60g of carbohydrates) immediately after the workout (9:00 p.m). Then, 30 minutes before sleeping (11:30 p.m) the participants took a drink with or without 40g of casein and phenylalanine.
They researchers assessed both the digestion of protein as well as the absorption kinetics. Moreover, they measured the protein synthesis rate of the whole body and muscle during the night sleep.
Results of the study
After taking protein, the blood phenylalanine levels suddenly increased. All in all, this means that the protein that they took was properly digested and absorbed. Consequently, it resulted in a constant amino acid discharge.
A higher availability of the amino acids during the night increased the post-workout muscle synthesis. Thus, it improved the protein balance of the whole body throughout the night.
In addition, the researchers also performed a muscle biopsy before and after waking up. This is due to the fact that the protein from the whole body does not necessarily reflect the muscle protein. In fact, they were 22% higher than the muscle protein synthesis while they slept the night after the workout.
The latter can provide an effective supplementation strategy to increase the adaptive response of the muscle even more. Therefore, it will improve the efficiency of the workout.
Protein Before Bedtime to Improve the Night Muscle Synthesis
Taking protein immediately after the workout increases the protein synthesis after the workout. Thus, it improves the adaptive response of the skeletal muscle to prolonged workouts. However, the post-workout protein synthesis rate changes while we sleep the following night.
Amino Acid Availability
We have observed how the protein we take before sleeping is properly digested and absorbed during the night. Consequently, this increases the plasma amino acid availability and stimulates the accumulation of protein after the workout. Therefore, taking protein before bedtime can be an effective strategy to inhibit the breakdown of muscle protein. In addition, it will stimulate the muscle protein, improve the response of the muscle to the workout and the effectiveness of the workout.
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