Do this one thing at night, to boost muscle gains without added body fat

Boost Muscle Gains Without Adding Body Fat

Make the most of your muscle gains without adding body fat

The balancing act of gaining muscle mass without body fat is challenging to master.

You can’t help but add a little body fat when you are on a mission to gain muscle. Those extra calories are necessary to give you energy and help you build muscle mass. But what we don’t want to do (like the traditional bodybuilders) is to gain too much fat. Added body fat is not suitable for our health or muscle-building potential. We need to control our blood sugar to make those necessary gains. So, what is one thing you can do to benefit from gaining muscle mass without added fat? A team of 44 young men on a 12-week program were given a nightly pre-sleep protein shake with about 30 g casein and 15 grams of carbs, while the other half got an energy-free drink. The consensus of this group is that training was practical, and both groups ended up squatting. The group who drank the protein before bed gained significantly more muscle and strength. So, is this boost in muscle size and growth the result of a pre-sleep protein or a higher intake of protein and calories? One study attempted to test this to dive deep into the specifics but was unsuccessful. The results showed fat-free mass gains over eight weeks of unaltered training in regular lifters who took a night casein supplement compared to the same supplement in the morning. The difference wasn’t ideal because of the lack of participants in the study. You would need many people to take a casein supplement in the morning or evening to gauge the different responses. So, it seems that there are a lot of indicators that prove pre-sleep protein is specifically beneficial for younger lifters.


Sleep is also involved in the success

When you take a pre-sleep protein, it can help to improve protein distribution over the day. Muscles can only repair and grow if given suitable amino acids from protein. But, unlike blood glucose, the body does not store and release amino acids to maintain near-constant circulating levels. A survey of more than 500 athletes found that they typically consumed more than 1.2 g of protein per kilo of body weight across three main meals but only 7 g in an evening snack. That resulted in lower levels of amino acids available to increase muscle growth during the evening. These bedtime protein infusions won’t make you fat! A further study conducted with 11 young and active men proved that pre-sleep casein shake increased the rate of fat burning the next day. This might have something to do with casein ingestion reducing insulin response to other meals, which pushes your body to use more fat stores. So we can say that a pre-bedtime snack of protein, especially casein, doesn’t appear to make you fatter but increases your metabolism. It also doesn’t have any adverse effects on sleep quality either. It is also unfortunate that these studies were only conducted on young men and not older men and women or younger women.


Should you add this bedtime snack?

That would all depend on your goals and how much you train. Speak to our dietitian if you are at odds with this hack, but there is no harm in experimenting to see if that will help you boost muscle and burn more fat stores. Let’s hope that future research can expand to older individuals and women. 

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