Like to snack before bedtime? A protein-filled snack like cottage cheese is the way to go, say Florida State University researchers.
They found that consuming 30 grams of protein about 30 minutes before bed has a positive effect on muscle quality, metabolism and overall health. And for those who have sworn off eating at night, there is no gain in body fat.
Study participants -- active young women in their early 20s -- ate samples of cottage cheese 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime. Researchers specifically wanted to see if this food may have an impact on metabolic rate and muscle recovery.
This is one of the first nutrition studies where participants consumed a whole food as opposed to a protein shake or some form of supplement.
While protein supplements have their place, it is important to begin pooling data for foods and understanding the role they can play. It’s known that vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds in whole foods act synergistically to deliver health benefits. That effect, called food synergy, is missing when nutrients are isolated from whole intact foods.
Keep in mind, though, that this study was small involving only 10 women. As well, participants were young; these findings might not apply to older adults.
The research team will start examining more pre-sleep food options and longer-term studies to learn more about the optimal food choices that can help people recover from exercise by repairing and regenerating of muscle tissue.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.