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I train at night, and have read somewhere that you shouldn’t have a large meal just before bed time. What should I do, just have a protein shake, and have a large breakfast in the morning?

I too train at night and would love to know this also, especially since I am on a cutting phase of my diet.

Depending on how long between finishing up your workout and going to bed will be a factor.

First and foremost, a post-workout meal is essential. A high GI protein shake is just fine. If, after that, you're still awake roughly two hours later, I would suggest a slow digesting protein; cottage cheese seems to be the most common recommendation. I usually have either that or a can of tuna, with some flax oil.

On the other hand, if you train right after you go to sleep, you should still have the shake, but you might want to add an extra scoop of protein. I haven't trained at night for over a year, but at the time that worked well for me. However, I usually didn't get to bed until about an hour or two after my workout. Hope this helps.

Even when I was dieting and I trained at 10pm I would have a nice P&C meal right before bed. Usually cottage cheese, oatmeal, and a banana after my Surge. That did not hinder fat loss. I think the meal after training is very important no matter what time it is.

I would have a protein and carb shake before bedtime. I did this for a while and lost muscle. J. Berardi says this is the best time to consume carbs and not gain fat.

“…if you train right after you go to sleep, you should still have the shake…”

Trev, please explain how one would train in their sleep. I’m very interested in this... :)

Berardi has covered this in massive eating and has been discussed in previous threads. I train at nite also. Normally, Berardi says the last meal of the day should be P+F, HOWEVER, he also says that more importantly that you get protein and carbs post WO. So the current recommendation when training at nite is to sip a Surge during training followed by a P+C meal 45-60 min after training. If you are going to hit the hay within a few hours of this, you might just want to watch your calories in that post WO P+C meal and make it just a tad smaller. I eat a P+F meal about 2 1/2 hours before training but P+C meal after training then go to bed about 1 1/2-2 hours later. Just be sure, no matter what, to always take in some carbs post WO (P+C meal) or you will delay recovery till the next day and that would be catabolic.

Thanks for the responses all. Im relatively new to weight lifting so please forgive me for my ignorance. Does P+F syand for protein and Fat?, if so would something like a cheese sandwich be ok?

By the way Heb you recommended sipping a surge during while training, what is a surge?

Would Myoplex be considered a good post workout shake?

Mark - Read “Massive Eating” by Berardi for eating guide lines. He recommends to not eat F(fat) and C(carbs) in the same meal but eat separate meals of P(protein)+F and P+C. You should always eat P+C after training to provide the amino acid and glucose building blocks for muscle growth and recovery. The carbs post Work Out(WO) are to replace the muscle glycogen (energy from glucose or carbs stored in muscle and used as energy for muscle contractions) used up in the WO. Surge is a Biotest work out drink supplement that contains fast digesting carbs in the form of glucose and maltodextrin along with critical amino acids to promote recovery in the trained and fatigued muscle. Berardi believes in insulin control. Insulin is required by the body to allow the carbs and aminos (protein) into the muscle. Without insulin, the carb and amino nutrients would have difficulty entering the muscle cells. The fast digesting carbs consisting of glucose and maltodextrin in the Surge drink, work to cause a “surge” of insulin in the body and allows the carbs and fast digesting proteins and aminos in the Surge drink to instantly enter the muscle during training so that growth and recovery can begin. Berardi believes you should eat slow digesting carbs at all other times than post WO as you don’t want insulin “spiked” all the time - just post WO. Read every thing you can on T-Mag and read the FAQ section under the “current issue” which will direct you to a wealth of info. And they sell Surge and other supplements in the Biotest store. Good Luck.

um…whoops. Sorry, messed up my syntax a bit. I meant, “if you train at night, and then go to sleep right after”…sorry for the confusion.

Yeah but if you train from 8-9 and sleep at midnight, wouldn’t Surge right after the WO and P+F meal just before bed time be the best thing to do(provided you are doing the don’t diet protocol?). Besides, isn’t the second P+C meal supposed to help only when trying to gain muscle? Even on the Surge label it says,that when dieting, you should have a drink after the workout and then your next meal is supposed to be a typical meal of the diet you are following.

Like others have said I too believe in the validity of a good meal before bed. However you should experiment and see how you feel (some people aparently don’t enjoy going to bed on a full stomach), if you feel like crap then cut the calories or perhaps stick to liquid/blended nutrition. Remmember sleep is when you grow… so give your body enough fuel to do its job after you do your job in the gym and in the kitchen.

Mark here are a few links to read:

My last meal is cottage cheese, low grow and peanutbutter . IF you are trying to gain swap fruit for PB.