T Nation

Midnight Protein with Cutting


In "Hardball Nutrition for Muscle", Charles Polinquin is quoted as saying, ""Sleep is for sleep. As soon as you're awake for more than three seconds you disturb melatonin production, and melatonin is part of the hormonal cascade that builds muscle. Plus, the digestive system is made to rest at night." Does this way of thinking still apply when someone is on a calorically restricted diet, where muscle preservation may be more of an issue and therefore casein/bcaas in the middle of the night could be very advantageous?


I think the whole catabolism issue is blown way out of proportion. The human body is an incredibly adaptive machine so I have a hard time believing that it will begin to eat itself if you don't eat for eight hours.


I'm interested to see others opinions on this.

I've been trying to lose weight for nearly 4 weeks now, and I've been having Micellar Casein before bed.
So far I'm very happy. Weight loss could be faster from a morale point of view, but I'm losing a steady 2 pounds a week while gaining strength. So something is going right.

I am not a relatively lean individual trying to get a six pack though. I am an overweight guy trying to simply improve myself. So far so good.


I'd be happy with 2 pounds a week, congrats on your success so far, keep it up.


If you naturally wake up anyway, then it's fine to have a protein shake or some BCAA's. However it's necessary to count this towards total calories. In other words, particularly in the case of the shake, rather than being an extra, it's "instead of" that amount of protein that you could have had during the day.

If you wouldn't be waking up naturally anyway, then don't. Definitely don't awaken on purpose for the sake of a hoped-for nutritional advantage.