It is always advised that breakfast should be the heaviest meal of the day while dinner should be the lightest. People generally consume high-protein foods in the morning for energy boost and avoid them completely at night. But, a new study claims that consuming protein-rich snacks at bedtime might not be such a bad idea. The study that was published in the journal ‘Nutrition' studied the relationship between night-time eating, weight gain, and metabolism, especially in women who lead an active lifestyle. The findings revealed that consuming proteins at night as compared to taking in proteins during the day does not adversely affect overnight digestion process and belly fat metabolism.
Study author Michael Ormsbee, an associate professor in the College of Human Sciences and the associate director of the FSU Institute of Sports Sciences & Medicine said, "For far too long, people have been led to believe that eating before bed causes metabolic disturbances and will make them gain fat. However, the data simply does not support this when the food we choose to eat before bed is protein-based and small in size."
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The team of researchers roped in women weight trainers and studied two different conditions of protein intake. In one condition, the participants were fed casein protein shake 30 minutes after a workout and a taste-matched placebo shake 30 minutes before bed. In the other condition, the women trainers were fed the shakes in the reverse order. The team then assessed overnight fat metabolism in the participants. They tried to determine whether the timing of protein consumption was linked to fat release by fat cells and also studied their bodies' capacity to burn the fat released as energy in the muscles.
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Allman, now a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and the Arkansas Children's Nutrition Center, stated, "In women who weight train, there are no differences in overnight local belly fat metabolism or whole-body fat burn whether you eat protein in the form of a protein shake during the day post-workout or at night pre-sleep. So, essentially, you can eat protein before bed and not disturb fat metabolism."