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10 Muscle-Building Meals That You Can Eat Before Bed

Are you looking for the best muscle-building meals to eat before bed? If yes, then you've come to the right place. The article highlights how consuming protein-rich foods can help you achieve your muscle-building goals. Include these 10 meals into your before-bed diet routine to build muscles and gain strength.

James Cambell
10 Muscle-Building Meals That You Can Eat Before Bed
Table Of Contents
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If you're into bodybuilding or just looking to build lean muscle, you know how important nutrition is. What you eat before bed is just as important as what you eat during the day. Fueling your body with the proper nutrients and minerals is essential for muscle recovery and growth.

That's why we've rounded up ten muscle-building meal ideas that you can eat before bedtime. These meals are high in protein, and healthy fats and low in carbohydrates, making them perfect for muscle building. So, get ready to dig in and start fueling your gains!

Why Develop Healthy Eating Habits Before Bedtime?

Why Develop healthy eating habits before bedtime?

Developing healthy eating habits near bedtime is crucial to gain muscle mass. When you get into a sound and deep sleep, your body produces testosterone and growth hormone.

These regenerative chemicals are necessary to prepare you for your next workout. And if you are afraid of gaining fat, you shouldn't be when you are consuming calories that are mainly proteins because proteins help you grow and build muscle.

Proteins don't have to be high-calorie meals. Small, protein-rich snacks are enough to meet your daily needs and prevent muscle breakdown (catabolism). They are quick, easy, and simple!

For athletes, sleep is a powerful tool. It is a time for your mind and body to rest and allow you to recover and adapt. It plays a crucial part in athletic performance. It improves reaction times, decision-making, and coordination and promotes a lean physique.

When you consume food before going to sleep, it affects not only the quality of your sleep but it also affects your body's ability to recover for future athletic performance. Focus on quality sleep instead of quantity if you struggle to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. For athletes or high-performance individuals, high levels of tryptophan in foods help calm their bodies and prepare them for sleep.

Tryptophan can be found in food high in protein. These include Chicken, Egg, Cheese, Fish, Peanuts and Peanut Butter, Pumpkin and Sesame Seeds, Milk, Turkey, Tofu, And Soy.

Moreover, HGH production is stimulated by bedtime snacks high in amino acids (protein-rich food) and choline, a neurotransmitter found in egg yolks.

The slow-digesting dairy protein casein has been proven to stimulate muscle growth and reduce muscle damage. Cow's milk and goat's milk also contain casein protein.

Moreover, antioxidants help the body get rid of harmful free radicals. These foods help athletes speed up their recovery. You can also invest in the Antioxidant Plus for a speedy recovery.

Muscle Building Meal Plan Before Going to Bed

Here is a list of combinations of food/snacks that you need to add to your meal plan a few hours before going to sleep if your goal is to bulk up on body mass.

1. Cottage Cheese and Almonds

1. Cottage Cheese and almonds

Cottage cheese is being pushed down the protein ladder lately due to Greek yogurt's popularity, but it is still the most convenient and best source of protein. Cottage cheese is packed with casein and whey forms of the muscle-building macronutrient. It should be on everyone's shopping list if they are looking for a variety of protein.

Almonds will provide you with all-important healthy fats and make you feel full. They also help reduce the digestion rate of protein, which will produce a slow amino acid flow. It will also help you grow while you sleep, as your food intake has been stopped at your last meal.

Macros for 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with 1 ounce of almond are:

  • Calories: 327
  • Protein: 34g
  • Carbs: 11g
  • Fat: 16g

2. Almond Butter and Banana Rice Cakes

2. Almond Butter and banana Rice Cakes

Almond Butter and Banana Rice Cakes is a nutritious pre-bedtime snack that promotes muscle growth and recovery. This meal offers a well-balanced combination of macronutrients, including high-quality protein from almond butter, healthy monounsaturated fats, and complex carbohydrates from rice cakes and bananas. The almond butter and bananas provide essential micronutrients such as magnesium, vitamin E, and potassium, which support muscle function, act as antioxidants, and prevent muscle cramps.

Rice cakes, made from whole-grain brown rice, offer a slow-digesting energy source that supports muscle recovery throughout the night. In summary, Almond Butter and Banana Rice Cakes is a well-rounded and beneficial pre-bedtime snack that helps fuel the body with essential nutrients required for optimal muscle function and repair during sleep.

Ingredients

  • 2 rice cakes (made from whole-grain brown rice)
  • 2 tbsp natural almond butter (32 g)
  • 1 small banana, sliced (90 g)

Calories and Macros (per serving):

  • Calories: 356 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 44 g
  • Fiber: 6 g
  • Protein: 9 g
  • Fat: 18 g

3. Greek Chia Yogurt

3. Greek Chia Yogurt

There is no way you won't have heard about Greek yogurt as an excellent option for protein. It is rich in active cultures that aid with digestion and motility. It is a high-protein muscle-building source without any unwanted calories.

The health community has recently recognized chia seeds as a superfood. Chia seeds have many benefits, including high fiber, antioxidants, and quality protein with booming levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Simply tossing some chia seeds into your Greek yogurt will boost both benefits.

1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1 cup Greek yogurt make macros equal to:

  • Calories: 180
  • Protein: 23g
  • Carbs: 14g
  • Fat: 3g

4. Deviled Avocado Eggs

4. Deviled Avocado Eggs

The egg is the most important and the best protein source. It can be used in many ways and is incredibly versatile. There are many ways to prepare eggs, but hard-boiling can be done conveniently.

Along with the whites, yolks are safe. They regulate hormone levels and supply essential fats.

Avocado is another powerful food that provides you with healthy fats. They are also versatile and tasty too! Add an egg yolk to your halved avocado and season with salt, relish, or other flavorings. Avocado provides more nutrition than any deviled eggs.

Macros for 2 whole boiled eggs and 2 ounces of avocado:

  • Calories: 244
  • Protein: 14g
  • Carbs: 6g
  • Fat: 18g

5. Whey Protein and Peanut Butter

5. Whey Protein and peanut butter

Whey protein is inexpensive, convenient, easy to digest, and available in many flavors. Whey protein overflows with essential amino acids and contains plenty of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), which are highly sought-after. It is also simple and easy to add to your diet.

Natural peanut butter or other healthy options such as almond butter are delicious ways to get healthy fats while enjoying a treat. You can add natural peanut butter to any recipe to make it more delicious. But, it is easy to overeat calories. Add some whey protein powder and as little water as needed to make it pudding-like.

Macros for 1 scoop (28g) of whey protein and 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter are:

  • Calories: 288
  • Protein: 28g
  • Carbs: 12g
  • Fat: 16g

6. Nuts and Seeds

6. Nuts and Seeds

This late-night crunch contains essential nutrients like omega-3s, protein, and antioxidants. High-sodium diets can lead to lower sleep quality. Unsalted nuts or seeds can replace these.

Pistachios have the highest level of melatonin among all nuts. Pistachios contain tryptophan which is an amino acid related to sleep quality. Tryptophan aids in sleep quality by helping to make serotonin. Sesame and pumpkin seeds also contain tryptophan, adding a crunchy texture to your yogurt.

Walnuts and cashews are good options for a goodnight's sleep. High levels of magnesium and potassium are found in cashews, while walnuts can help make serotonin.

A handful of mixed nuts and, according to the USDA contains:

  • Calories: 327
  • Protein: 10.8 g
  • Fat: 30 grams, including 9 grams of monounsaturated fat.
  • Carbs: 6 g

7. Grilled Fish

7. Grilled Fish

Fish is high in protein and also contains omega-3 fats. Many people suffer from Omega Fat deficiency. Grilled fish is a good choice for such people and is beneficial over the long term. Take it one hour before bed, and you will be good to go.

3 oz of boneless fish contains:

  • Calories: 71
  • Protein: 15.1g
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Fat: 0.78g

8. Chicken Breast With Salad

8. Chicken Breast With Salad

Chicken digests faster than cheese protein. However, when it is eaten with salad and butter dressing, it slows down the digestion process. It releases the desired amount of amino acids throughout the night, which can be helpful in muscle-building.

4 oz of grilled chicken breast contains:

  • Calories: 128
  • Protein: 26g
  • Carbs: 0g
  • Fat: 2.7g

9. Casein Protein Shake

9. Casein Protein Shake

Casein protein can be taken as a supplement. It is slow to digest and releases amino acids throughout the night. You can add it to a casein shake with peanut butter or almonds. The added nuts will provide essential facts as the shakes are very low in fat.

Casein Protein Shake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop casein protein powder (30 g) - choose a flavor you like (e.g., chocolate, vanilla)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (240 ml)
  • 1 tbsp natural almond butter (16 g)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Instructions

  • In a blender, add the casein protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, almond butter, and ground cinnamon.
  • Blend the ingredients until smooth and well combined.
  • Add ice cubes to the blender and blend again until the shake reaches your desired consistency.
  • Pour the shake into a glass and serve immediately.

Calories and Macros (per serving)

  • Calories: 330 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 10 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 32 g
  • Fat: 18 g

Fruity Flaxseed Protein Shake

Fruity Flaxseed Protein Shake

Flaxseed is healthy and can help lower cholesterol and inflammation. You can add Flaxseed to a protein shake or mix it with yogurt. They are high-quality protein, stay satiated at night, and are rich in omega 3s that improve your metabolic health.

You can add them to your late-hours protein shakes to add some nutty flavor, enhance nutrients and gain muscles while enjoying a sound sleep.

Fruity Flaxseed Protein Shake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (240 ml)
  • 1 medium ripe banana (100 g)
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries (75 g) - e.g., strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
  • 1 scoop DMoose vanilla protein powder (30 g)
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed meal (13 g)
  • 1 tbsp natural almond butter (16 g)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Instructions

  • In a blender, add the unsweetened almond milk, ripe banana, mixed berries, DMoose vanilla protein powder, flaxseed meal, almond butter, and ground cinnamon.
  • Blend the ingredients until smooth and well combined.
  • Add ice cubes to the blender and blend again until the shake reaches your desired consistency.
  • Pour the shake into a glass and serve immediately.

Calories and Macros (per serving):

  • Calories: 515 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 55 g
  • Fiber: 12 g
  • Protein: 34 g
  • Fat: 24 g

FAQs

1. What are the benefits of eating before sleeping?

Eating before sleeping can help your body repair itself and boost muscle growth and recovery. Eating before bed can also boost your energy to get through the night.

2. What is the best time to eat before going to bed?

Consuming a meal at least 1-2 hours before bed is recommended. This gives your body enough time to digest the food and absorb nutrients without interfering with

3. Are there any specific foods that are good for eating before bed?

Yes! Some of the best foods for eating before bed include high-protein snacks like cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, nut butter, eggs, or a protein shake; complex carbohydrates such as oats, quinoa, sweet potatoes, or brown rice; healthy fats such as avocados or almonds; and vegetables like broccoli and spinach.

4. Is it wrong to eat right before sleeping?

Eating right before going to bed can lead to digestive problems and make it harder to fall asleep due to feeling full or uncomfortable. Try to eat your last meal of the day 1-2 hours before bedtime.

The Bottom Line

Sleep is an essential phase of the muscle-building process, and when your goal is to improve your body mass, ensure that you get sound and satiated sleep for at least 6-8 hours.

When it comes to muscle building, nutrition is critical. But did you know that the timing of your meals can also play a significant role in achieving your fitness goals? Eating good meals before bed can help keep your muscles fueled throughout the night, leading to better gains in the gym. After researching and trying out different meal options, we have found the top 10 muscle-building meals to eat before sleeping.

From protein-packed chicken to a slow-release casein shake, these meals will help with muscle synthesis and satisfy your late-night hunger. So try and see how they can help take your fitness journey to the next level!

Article Sources

  • Haider, Saida, et al. "Effects of Walnuts (Juglans Regia) on Learning and Memory Functions." Plant Foods for Human Nutrition (Dordrecht, Netherlands), vol. 66, no. 4, Nov. 2011, pp. 335-40. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1007/s11130-011-0260-2.
  • Office of Dietary Supplements - Choline. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Choline-HealthProfessional/. Accessed 27 Nov. 2021.
  • Van Cauter, Eve, et al. "Reciprocal Interactions between the GH Axis and Sleep." Growth Hormone & IGF Research: Official Journal of the Growth Hormone Research Society and the International IGF Research Society, vol. 14 Suppl A, June 2004, pp. S10-17. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ghir.2004.03.006.
  • Vitalini, Sara, et al. "LC-MS/MS-Based Profiling of Tryptophan-Related Metabolites in Healthy Plant Foods." Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), vol. 25, no. 2, Jan. 2020, p. E311. PubMed, https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25020311.
  • Wilborn, Colin D., et al. "The Effects of Pre- and Post-Exercise Whey vs. Casein Protein Consumption on Body Composition and Performance Measures in Collegiate Female Athletes." Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, vol. 12, no. 1, Mar. 2013, pp. 74-79. PubMed Central, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3761774/.
  • Zivkovic, Angela M., et al. "Dietary Omega-3 Fatty Acids Aid in the Modulation of Inflammation and Metabolic Health."; California Agriculture, vol. 65, no. 3, 2011, pp. 106-11. PubMed Central, https://doi.org/10.3733/ca.v065n03p106.

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James Cambell

James Cambell is an editor at DMoose, where he loves to write about fitness, nutrition, and health tips. He has received a degree in Nutrition Sciences and is a certified dietitian.

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