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How to Eat to Build Muscle Overnight

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Before we go any further, just know that you can NOT gain max amounts of muscle overnight…it’s a process, people! However by choosing certain foods, to maximize muscle gain, you can enhance the process.

Eating to build muscle is a pretty basic practice. You eat three main meals with a few snack options in between.  Those meals should consist of a balance of protein, carbs, and fats.

Then night falls and so does your self-control.  Sure, you could scarf down a bunch of carbs before bed but is that really the best option? What you need is a shot of protein, with some healthy fats, without the fear of carbs doing their damage.

Check out our five easy and convenient bedtime protein options that aren’t loaded with carbs so that you can get your protein fix without the bloat.

1. Eggs and Avocado

Arguably the standard in the world of protein, eggs are an excellent choice for late-night feeding. They are a highly versatile food and one of Coach Amy’s favorite “go-to meals”.

And don’t forgo the egg yolks! They provide essential fatty acids that can help regulate hormone levels as well as give you a much-needed dose of satiety.

Avocado is another power food perfect for partnering up with a solid protein pick. It’s another versatile food and it can be added to many dishes. Use it as a substitute for mayonnaise in deviled eggs—season them with a pinch of salt and relish, and you’ll have one lean, mean, late-night protein snack.

Two whole eggs combined with two ounces of avocado yields about 245 calories, 14 grams of protein, six grams of carbs, and 18 grams of fat. Can you say, “Yes, Please?”

2. Casein and Flax Seed Oil

Although casein protein powder doesn’t have the superstar status that whey has, it could be considered the unsung hero of protein supplementation. Casein is a slow-digesting protein, it allows for more of a gradual release of amino acids to give you protein coverage throughout the night. This will keep you in that anabolic state of recovery and repair longer than whey.

Flaxseed oil is a healthy fat with huge benefits. Not only will it help slow digestion for your night meal, but it will also aid in satiety, decrease inflammation (it can be used to help with rheumatoid arthritis, for example), and help lower cholesterol.

Add a little flaxseed oil to your casein supplement, to slow down absorption even more, as you sleep. That way you’ll have a steady stream of protein to help recover from your brutal workouts.

One scoop of casein protein powder (around 28 grams) and one tablespoon of flaxseed oil will give you 220 calories, 20 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, and about 4 grams of fat.

3. Greek Yogurt and Chia Seeds

If you haven’t heard of the benefits of Greek yogurt by now then you must be a newbie to the fitness lifestyle. It is loaded with live and active cultures to aid in gut health (namely motility and healthy digestion), and it also has more protein on average than regular yogurt.

Chia seeds are high in fiber, packed with antioxidants, contain key omega-3 fatty acids, and are high in quality protein. They can be added to any meal. Just sprinkle a little on a variety of your favorite foods or simply top off your Greek yogurt with a tablespoon or two and you’re good to go.

One cup of Greek yogurt and one tablespoon of chia seeds has around 180 calories, 23 grams of protein, 14 grams of carbs, and about 3 grams of fat.

4. Cottage Cheese and Almonds

Cottage cheese still has skin in the game, especially when you want a little variety. This staple includes both casein and whey sources of protein so you get the fast and slow-acting benefits of each type. It makes one of the more PERFECT nighttime sources of amino acids.

Almonds (or any other type of your favorite nut) can induce satiety, give you a shot of healthy fats and help slow the digestive process down to assist in regulating blood sugar levels.  Include them with your cottage cheese or just slam back a handful for a healthy snack.

One cup of low-fat cottage cheese and one ounce of almonds gives you 325 calories, 34 grams of protein, 11 grams of carbs, and about 16 grams of fat.

5. Whey Protein and Peanut Butter

Now we finally get to one of the more popular options as far as protein intake and muscle building is concerned. Numerous companies sell whey products so be sure that you buy from a reputable one that’s been around for some time…quality is key!

Whey contains a superior amount of essential amino acids, specifically the branched-chain kind—leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Quickly digested, it makes an ideal supplement for a post-workout recovery shake.

Natural peanut butter, or any other favorite of yours, is a tasty way to add some natural fat to your diet.  Mix some whey protein powder, ice, and natural nut butter in a blender and voilà, instant meal!

One scoop of whey protein powder and two tablespoons of natural peanut butter will give you 290 calories, 28 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs, and 16 grams of fat.

Get in the Protein

Meeting your protein needs isn’t as boring as you think. You just need to choose some specific, high-protein sources and get just a little creative in how you combine them. Soon you’ll be sleeping like a baby, knowing your protein needs are met.


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