The Best Supplements to Have Before Bed
The Best Supplements to Have Before Bed
A better pre-bed supplement routine can have a profound impact on your muscle strength and size.
Much has been said about the effects of late night eating, but many overlook the importance of getting a good pre-bed supplement regime. Look at it this way: If recovery is a 24 hour process and you’re only tending to 2-3 hours of that process post workout, you’re ignoring a large window of recovery that could bring with it much better results. Which is why, if you really want to step your progress up, you must consider your body’s needs throughout the day. This includes the 6-8 hours you spend sleeping, as your body needs nutrients then as badly as it does after your training sessions.
Acknowledging that the window is more important than you’ve previously thought it to be, let’s then walk through what supplements to consider using before bed in order to improve your performance in the gym, on the field, or in the weight room.
Casein Protein Powder
Topping the list of supplements to consider using before bed is casein protein powder. Providing your muscles with protein before its overnight fast is important for promoting better muscular repair and recovery, while keeping you out of a catabolic state. Catabolism occurs when your muscles lack the necessary fuel and are forced to break down muscle tissue to perform bodily functions. Yeah, not ideal when trying to put on, or retain, mass.
Casein protein powder is specially formulated to slowly digest in the body, consequently releasing a steady stream of amino acids over 6-8 hours instead of immediately after consumption. That effect also makes casein ideal for controlling hunger levels as your body is being fed consistently over a longer period of time.
The second pre-bed supplement to consider, especially if you have trouble sleeping, is melatonin. This naturally occurring hormone both regulates your sleep cycles, and induces a deeper sleep state. Since high quality, deep, sleep is critical to any athlete's strong recovery between hard training sessions melatonin can help give you the rest needed. It’s also worth noting melatonin is far healthier than using one of the sleeping medications available.
Another supplement to add to your pre-bed stack is ZMA. This mineral supplement, like melatonin, has been shown to increase the quality of your sleep while possibly boosting natural testosterone levels. The only thing to consider when taking ZMA is, if you’re taking casein, to have ZMA 30 min before (or two hours after), as casein’s calcium will block the absorption of zinc in ZMA. That said, the combination of the two will help you sleep better and thus recover faster.
Finally, the last supplement to use before bed is glutamine. Glutamine is an amino acid that plays a key role in the immune system, enhancing the amount of recovery you see daily. This is particularly important for those both training intensely, and leading a relatively high stress lifestyle. While glutamine should also be taken immediately after the workout session, adding an additional 10 grams or so before bed will really make a noticeable difference in how fast you complete the repair process.
And those are the top supplements on the market today to help you recover, add lean muscle mass, and grow as strong as possible for before bed. Remember that supplements will never replace a good diet in fostering proper recovery and enhancing your overall well-being, but these products will definitely offer clear benefits when added to a smart nutrition plan.
To maximize your strength, size, and athletic performance, 1R would recommend the following pre-bed supplements:
- Cytosport Complete Casein – A great tasting casein shake that will ensure you don’t lose your hard earned muscle when you’re sleeping
- Optimum Nutrition ZMA – The combination of natural minerals in this supplement will help you get a better, deeper sleep so that you’re back to 100% the next day
- Cytosport L-Glutamine - Needed for immune system support, energy production, and the building and protection of the lean muscle mass when stress is increased on the body
About the Author
Shannon Clark holds a degree in Exercise Science from the University of Alberta, where she specialized in Sports Performance and Psychology. In addition to her degree, she is an AFLCA certified personal trainer and has been working in the field for over 8 years now. She currently works with a variety of different clients with various goal sets, helping them reach whatever physique goals they have set for themselves. Shannon is a regular contributor to Bodybuilding.com and has also been named ‘Writer Of The Year’ two times running. She has been featured in the Iron Man magazine and has contributed well over 400 articles to a variety of different websites dedicated towards muscle building and athletic performance.For more information on Shannon, please see her website, www.ShannonClarkFitness.com
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