T Nation

Night Feeding

How important do you think it is to eat protein when you wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom? How many of you do that? Alot of times I feel to lazy to walk up stairs and have some cottage cheese or whatever. Does it really make that big of a difference?

If you’re trying to bulk up and needing the extra calories and protein, then it’s an okay idea. But you could just get that extra shake in during the day, too. In the end, it probably doesn’t make that big of a deal. An extreme ecto might benefit.

Personally, I just blend some cottage cheese with vanilla Grow! and drink it right before bed. Then I have another protein shake as soon as I wake up. (Or if I’m taking Power Drive, I wait 20 or 30 minutes first, then I drink the shake.) The biggest mistake some people make is skipping a high protein breakfast. If you’re last meal is at 10PM and you don’t eat until noon the next day, you’re in a potentially catabolic state for something like 14 hours! And don’t just eat oatmeal or cereal in the morning. You need protein ASAP! I used to just drink a carton of Egg Beaters before Grow! came along.

So, my advice: protein before bed, and protein upon waking. I tried the protein in the middle of the night thing and had a hard time getting back to sleep. If you try it, at least get your shake or cottage cheese or whatever prepared before bed. Don’t wake yourself up unnaturally either by setting an alarm for 3AM. Just get your nocturnal protein whenever you get up to pee. And if you don’t need to get up and pee, then you ain’t properly hydrated! Hope this helps. Any other opinions?

I drink a plain pro(casein) meal a couple of times per week whenever I wake up.I prepare that before I go to bed.but I dont think it’s necessary to wake up on purpose. Since sleep is also important.Dipasquale has said that your body turns to catabolic unless it get pro in every 2-3 hours.
Lots of us already eat 6x per day so the night is the only time when you digestions systems get rest.

What are Mr Berardi’s information.

I think it’s very important. There is just too much catabolism if you starve yourself for 8 hours. Then you have to try and catch up. Better to stay anabolic. I practice the natural wake up method by properly hydrating. I
keep the food(and more water) by my bed. Getting back to sleep is usually no problem. If needed, Jacking off should put you back to sleep. Also when I am on orals, I take a dose with my night feeding as well to keep androgen levels up. Btw I think Bill Roberts agrees with my opinions. Bill, are you out there?

Yes, I agree, so long as the extra protein
(probably a MRP shake) is taken when you
wake up briefly anyway, rather than setting
the alarm clock and interrupting good sleep.

I really don’t know if it makes much difference
when in a more-or-less plateau phase anyway…
maybe it helps a little, maybe not. But it
sure seems to make a substantial difference when definitely
in a gaining phase.

Ace: won’t you increase your protein requirements by jacking off, or should one drink the ‘gunk’ before retiring? :wink:

Yeah Maclar,maybe t-mag could have a article on protein (re)cycling.

Hey Chris, I always awaken in the middle of the night to pee and it drives me crazy! I’ve never heard that this was a sign of proper hydration. Where did you learn this? Or how did you come to this conclusion? I was afraid that I had an enlarged prostate at age 30! This news is a great relief! No pun intended.

Mark C.- Well, I haven’t done a study on 3AM wee wee sessions or anything, but I think it’s quite normal to need to pee in the middle of the night. If it’s true that you’re already dehydrated if you feel thirsty, then I assume 8 hours of sleep leaves you pretty dry. I drink a bedtime protein shake, so I always have to pee at least once, sometimes twice, at night. I get another drink then. Then when I wake up, I always have a big glass of water. I’m sure there are genetic differences in bladder sizes, too.

I’ve always heard it’s “unhealthy” to hold it for long periods of time. Don’t know about this or what they mean by “unhealthy”, though.

Anyway, if you do the gallon o’ water a day thing, you pee a lot. Friends tease me I pee so much. My response, “You’re just jealous because I’m adequately hydrated!” There are some medical conditions that list “frequent urination” as a symptom, but I wouldn’t worry about a midnight piss too much.

I honestly don’t think it makes much of a difference, unless you’re amazingly skinny and have to find any time you possibly can to get protein in. If you drink a heavy casein shake before bed, you should be fine.

Sleeping continuously for more than 5 hours is MUCH more important to not only building muscle but overall health than getting a little protein in the middle of the night. After you go to sleep, the first five hours are critical to hormone production, etc... After the first hour or so, the sleep will alternate between the third and fourth (deep sleep) stages for 3-4 hours. After that, your sleep becomes a little more sporadic, alternating between stages 2, 3, and 4. So if you wake up, or get in a pattern of waking up, before you have a chance to get your continuous deep sleep in, you're hurting yourself. And, even if you plan it exactly right and get up at the 5 hour mark, you'll have trouble going back to sleep, because you'll have already gone through the most productive sleeping period during of night.

My advice: don’t worry about the shake. just sleep.

As I posted in the Dog Pound regarding “Best Advice For Newbies”, if you aren’t waking up to piss you’re not drinking enough water, period. I’ve been taking a protein shake in the middle of the night for years now and I think it really helps. Why be catabolic at all? I have my shake mixed sitting on the bathroom counter. I wake up to piss, slam my shake and go back to bed without missing a beat. I wouldn’t recommend a solid meal because that would keep you up to long which would fuck up you’re sleep.