There´s so many contradicting information about eating before bed, some say that we need to eat right before bed if you want to maintain muscle while others say that eating before bed lead to weight gain.
I know people who love to have big meals right before they go to bed they say they sleep better otherwise they are hungry and they can´t sleep if they´re hungry and I also know people who hate to eat before bed, if they´re going to have a meal or snack they do it at least 2 hours before they go to sleep and the meal needs to be small otherwise they can´t sleep because they feel full.
In the industry you´ll find people that prefer to eat before going to bed but they avoid carbohydrates and make it a high protein moderate fat meal because carbs are a source of energy and since you´re not going to use it your body will store it as fat.
Some research shows that growth hormone is increased at night so if you have big meals high on carbohydrates and proteins those will spike insulin and lower growth hormone if you want to consider this you can have your last meal around 2 or 3 hours before you go to bed.
I don´t think there´s not a right or wrong answer, for me it all comes down to what we do all day long, the type of diet we are following and our eating schedule. If you follow a ketogenic or low carbohydrate all your meals are low carbs, if you are fasting your meals will be in your eating window.
For fitness goals all your meals and the macronutrient ratios are important if you want to have your last meal before you go to bed and it fits your total macro ratios of the day you´ll still be losing fat or gaining muscle. If at the end of the day you ate less you´ll lose fat if you ate more you´ll gain muscle considering that you are exercising.
The problem I see more often is that some people have digestive problems so if they have a big meal before going to bed they find it harder to fall asleep, they feel full and is harder for them to have good quality sleep it doesn´t matter the macro ratios of the meal.
It all depends of what works best for you and what fits your eating schedule and nutrition program best, when I want to lean down and lose fat I personally prefer to keep carbohydrates low and avoid all unhealthy foods, this is what helped me improved my digestive issues and I also prefer to fast in the night so my last meal will be around 4 or 5 pm.
When I want to gain muscle I like to have one meal around 2 hours before going to bed and I make it as low carbohydrate as possible and high in healthy fast and proteins.
I don´t get obsessed whether if eating before bed is good or bad I see how my body responds and how I feel and from there I decide what to do, also focusing on the 5 principles of fitness without trying to be perfect makes everything easier. For nutrition I stick to fresh foods and try to keep carbs low to give room for healthy fats.
The best advice I can give you is to listen to your body, if you are hungry before going to bed eat something, if you feel bad when you have a meal right before bed you can try changing the macro ratios of that meal to see if it improves or you may want to get that meal a couple hours before you go to sleep.
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