T Nation

Middle of the Night Snack?



I workout first thing in the morning before going to work....Currently I do it on an empty stomach which of course means I wont be eating anything until after my workouts...

So far I am doing pretty well...Just a bottle of sugarfree energy drink seem to do the trick for me...

Of course my goal right now is to trim the fat for the next few weeks....

What I'm wondering is whether or not I should have a "middle of the night" snack to keep my body fed with protein.... perhaps a glass of skim milk, a tablespoon of peanut butter or something?....I usually wake up once or twice to pee so waking up is not a big deal



I remember one of the authors on here said that you should not plan to have a midnight snack, however, if you happen to wake up in the middle of the night get some protein in you.


Have something to eat before you work out, wake up half an hour earlier just have anything, you gotta fuel that workout better than waking up in the middle of the night.



Working out on an empty stomach is pretty much the worse thing you could ever do.

Wake up earlier and pound a shake with some quick carbs and protein. You could also leave a shaker with some whey or casein powder in it in your bathroom so when you wake up to pee you just fill it up and down it.


Don't intentionally wake up in the middle of the night to eat something, too disruptive to sleep. That being said, some folks (not me) will have a protein shake or something ready to go in case they wake up anyway.

Also, cottage cheese is a traditional pre-bed food, because the protein is slow-digesting casein.

In the morning, I'd probably recommend fast acting carbs, as long as you can fit it in the diet.


There was a thread on here addressing something similar but i can't seem to find it.

You could approach this 1 of 2 ways.

1) My advice is definitely wake up to eat something. It does your body more good than bad. Some guys disagree and say don't interrupt your sleep (recovery time) to get a snack but there is no way your body will recover if you have no fuel (food). You wake up anyways so it's all good.

2) If you don't want to eat and you just want to use that time for bathroom purposes and go right back to bed. I would recommend you eat something with a low glycemic index before you go to bed. Something along the lines of rye etc. etc. It's slow releasing so you body won't go into a fasting mode and start using up your protein as a fuel source.


Ok....thanks to all those who replied.....

I've been away from the "T-Mag/Bodybuilding" scene for a few years due to family/kids/etc...but didnt let myself "go" though...I did manage to do some workouts in my garage...

But I do recall something about working out on an empty stomach first thing in the morning to optimal for fat loss due to the fact that the body has nothing else to use for fuel except for "fat"....

If I'm very wrong about this then please do let me know and what I could be taking/eating... The only time I have for working out is an hour to 90 minutes after I wake up before I have to hit the "commute/work" world....evenings is out of question...

Thus is why am thinking maybe I should eat a middle of the night snack to keep me to losing too much muscle during this "fat loss" phase....

thanks in advance to those who reply


You're thinking of empty stomach, low intensity cardio, which many find effective (when they pop some BCAA's or whey before hand).

You should be eating before lifting. Even if it's a little bit of protein and carbs. Doesn't have to be much (especially if on a fat loss phase), but if you're eating carbs, right before, during, and after is when to have them. Midnight snacks are okay, but don't wake up purposefully for them.


I drink a shake before bed. i had the same problem, my muscles were hungry. i work out at night, and heres my shake. 2tbs peanut butter, 3 scoops whey protein, one whole banana, 3 cups skim milk. I not only feel great when i wake up despite the aches in the middle of the night, i havent woken up since i started this regimen, and im losing body fat. Im kind of chubby about 19% BF but i train hard so.... hope this helps


...or muscle.

If you're serious about building muscle, get something in you before training even if it's just Surge Recovery as you warm up.


i workout at 4:45am, i get up at 4am drink a cup of coffee and a protein shake w/some fish oil, then workout. makes a huge difference, i used to work out empty, but i started the protein shake after reading some of Thibs ideas from this site. keeps you stronger, and more energy to push through that hour of madness before the sun comes up.