Protein before Sleep: Optimizing Recovery

Protein Before Sleep

Eating protein before sleeping can help with recovery and weight loss.

Eating before bed, especially protein before sleeping, has always had a negative stigma that has been following it around for decades. Recommending eating before bed sounds backward until you look closer at what it can do for you. Consuming protein before bed can improve recovery from your workouts, helps you wake up less hungry, and helps with weight loss! More than likely you are below the recommended amount of protein you should be consuming everyday and a protein shake before bed can help boost your intake dramatically.

Why protein before sleeping?

Why is protein crucial before sleep? Without sufficient protein intake, you might hinder your potential results. Protein plays a pivotal role in muscle repair and growth, ensuring your body adapts to your workouts effectively. When you ingest dietary protein before bedtime, it stimulates muscle growth and drastically reduces muscle breakdown. This results in better muscle adaptation and more efficient muscle reconditioning. Research even shows that athletes who consume protein before bed experience a remarkable 22% improvement in muscle synthesis compared to those who don’t.

What should I eat before bed and how much?

It really comes down to your preference for protein source. We know from research that you will want 40 grams whey or casein proteins because they are the most effective. The reason for this is their amino acid profile and high leucine content. These proteins are also some of the most popular because of ease of digestion and bio-availability. If you prefer to go a plant based route, you will need more protein because of the low amount of leucine. However, recent research shows similar results as long as enough protein is consumed so picking the correct source for you is really a matter of your dietary preference.

Athletes who consumed protein before bed showed a 22% improvement in muscular synthesis in the morning compared to the placebo groups.

Who can benefit the most?

Meeting your daily protein requirements can be challenging, especially for athletes. Pre-sleep protein consumption is particularly beneficial for them, as it helps achieve the recommended 40-gram protein goal. However, the advantages aren’t limited to athletes. The general population can also experience benefits, such as improved muscle synthesis, enhanced exercise recovery, and increased lean muscle mass. This is especially valuable for individuals who work out in the evenings.

Why protein before sleeping can be good for you

Why you won't gain fat

One common concern is the fear of gaining fat by eating before bed. However, studies show that consuming protein before sleep doesn’t negatively affect overnight fat metabolism. Whether you opt for casein protein or a non-caloric placebo, there’s no significant difference in overnight fuel use, energy expenditure, or fat liberation from fat cells. Surprisingly, protein before sleep doesn’t hinder fat metabolism and might even improve body composition over time.

Incorporating protein before sleep into your routine can be a strategic move to enhance recovery and achieve your weight loss goals. If you’re eager to explore the transformative benefits of proper nutrition Absolute Coaching is here for you!


Saracino PG, Saylor HE, Hanna BR, Hickner RC, Kim JS, Ormsbee MJ. Effects of Pre-Sleep Whey vs. Plant-Based Protein Consumption on Muscle Recovery Following Damaging Morning Exercise. Nutrients. 2020;12(7):2049, 2020.

Allman BR, Morrissey MC, Kim JS, Panton LB, Contreras RJ, Hickner RC, Ormsbee MJ. Lipolysis and Fat Oxidation Are Not Altered with Presleep Compared with Daytime Casein Protein Intake in Resistance-Trained Women. J Nutr. 1;150(1):47-54, 2020.

Ormsbee MJ, Kinsey AW, Eddy WR, Madzima TA, Arciero PJ, Figueroa A, Panton LB. The influence of nighttime feeding of carbohydrate or protein combined with exercise training on appetite and cardiometabolic risk in young obese women. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 40(1):37-45, 2015

Beelen M., M. Tieland, A.P. Gijsen, H. Vandereyt, A.K. Kies, H. Kuipers, W.H. Saris, R. Koopman, and L.J. van Loon (2008b). Coingestion of carbohydrate and protein hydrolysate stimulates muscle protein synthesis during exercise in young men, with no further increase during subsequent overnight recovery. J. Nutr. 138: 2198-2204.

Beelen M., A. Zorenc, B. Pennings, J.M. Senden, H. Kuipers, and L.J. van Loon (2011b). Impact of protein coingestion on muscle protein synthesis during continuous endurance type exercise. Am. J. Physiol. 300:E945-954.

Certified Cycling Coach Garret Seacat

Coach Seacat has carved a space for himself as an expert coach in the discipline of cycling. With 15+ years of coaching and prestigious certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), Coach Seacat brings a comprehensive approach to coaching that combines advanced training techniques with fundamental cycling strategies.