You’ve all probably heard the ‘don’t eat after 6pm’ rule, but is there any truth behind it?
It all depends on what you eat, what your goal is and what time you usually go to bed.
If you go to bed at 7pm, you probably shouldn’t eat past 6pm. However, if bedtime is 10pm, it doesn’t matter if you eat at 6pm or 7pm, all that matters is what you eat.
For example, if you have Mars bar within 3 hours of going to sleep, your blood sugar levels will spike and drop just as you nod off, which will make you hungrier and could disturb your sleep. Foods like chocolate can also contain small amounts of caffeine which can disrupt your sleep cycle, so it’s best to avoid them if you can. Other examples of foods and drinks to steer clear of are cheese, ice cream, pizza and alcohol.
Eat complex carbs
Eating a slow releasing, complex carb like rice or potatoes will not only keep you asleep for longer, but help you fall asleep more quickly. They also trigger the release of serotonin, making you well prepared for slumber.
Stick to your programme
Always keep in mind your own nutrition programme. Although eating carbs is the best option if you’re hungry before bed, if you’re on a fat loss diet, you may want to check your plan to see if this is recommended.
Low carb plan? Try casein
If you’re on a stricter plan which allows less carbs, casein protein is a good option if you feel hungry later on in the evening. A couple of scoops in a shake before bed offers unique benefits, as it’s absorbed while you’re sleeping and also improves muscle recovery. Additionally, it’s been shown to positively influence the next morning’s resting metabolic rate.
Hopefully that clears up some of the myths and is a helpful guide on what to eat after work and before going bed.
Try some of the above and see if it has an impact.