T Nation

food adaptation

Ever night before I go to bed I drink a shake I make with cottage cheese, Grow and some natural peanut butter. I was wondering if my body would adapt to having this every night and not absorb all the protein? Would it be better to mix it up every week and have different foods before I go to bed?

As long as a protein source contains full spectrum of amino’s (which your grow/cottage cheese shake would), the body cann’t distinguish one complete protein from another as the digestive system breaks all complete proteins down to amino’s for absorption. It’s alway’s good to eat a variety of foods to get complete nutrition and variety of nutrients but as far as protein, complete protein is complete protein as far as the body and muscles are concerned. Your muscles really cann’t tell the difference between amino’s from steak or casein.

Wanted to add, the only difference between different complete proteins is how fast they are digested and absorbed. Whey, of course, is a “fast” protein and digests/absorbs much faster than casein. So a good bedtime shake would be a “slow” protein source like casein which is what grow and cottage cheese is. Your shake is an excellent bedtime choice. T-bone would also work pre bedtime. Whey would be a better pre/post WO choice.

from a crazy wombat standpoint that doesn’t make any sense… its like saying the body gets adapted to breathing and doesn’t take in oxygen, or the body gets adapted to water adn doesn’t take it in… why the fudge would the body get “adapted” to having protein and stop absorbing a nutrient it needs to survive? doesn’t make sense…

No, you have nothing to worry about. Casein is the best source of protein pre-bedtime. It’s like saying “maybe if I eat a bag of doritos everyday, then my body will get used to it and i’ll stop getting fat.” It ain’t gonna happen.

That’s a damn good analogy. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Thanks E; I thought it worked pretty well too :wink:

What about types of diets, not just particular foods? If you follow a certain type of diet for awhile, will your body adapt, making the diet less effective, similar to the way the body adapts to different training methods.

Type of diet (i.e. Massive Eating, Anabolic Diet): NO. Reduced calorie levels: YES. Any hypocaloric diet will get stale with prolonged use due to lower thyroid output and other physiological factors; thus to overcome these “adaptations” you will need to change something. The following are a few examples:

Drop your calories and introduce an anabolic agent to spare LBM losses (i.e. 4-AD-EC, Mag-10, etc.)

Introduce something new into your workout regimen (i.e. sprinting, etc.)

Introduce thyroid potentiators such as T2, T2-PRO, or Cytomel (prescription only)

Everybody is right so far, you don’t have to worry about absorption and efficiency issues. One point though that should be made and maybe discussed in another thread is the importance of variety in the diet. All to often, we focus on grams of protein, carbohydrates, fats and the calories associated with them. Sure we make good food choices for the most part, but it is really easy to miss out on phytochemicals and other good stuff that only comes from a varied diet. How many bodybuilders go through periods of time where the only carbohydrates come from oatmeal and surge? It happens all too often. Those are good sources, but what about beans, fruits, veggies, other grains. I’m as guilty as the next person of not eating a varied diet, but I think that in the long run, it can limit your progress.

Final question - How many times have you avoided certain foods just because you can't accurately record it in your food log? I've done it. It's pretty lame, but it is something to think about.

Obviously counting calories is key to long term progress, but I think that there are times when an athlete should ditch the food log and just eat. Still eat healthy, but make some more varied choices. I've had too many days in my food log where M,T,W,R, and F looked way too similar. Wow, sorry for the rant. I haven't had the time to post as much lately and had to rant a little on this post.