Should You Drink Protein Shakes Before Bed?

We discuss whether there are benefits of drinking protein shakes before bed for weight loss and weight gain.
Romeo Vitelli
Romeo Vitelli
Expert Writer
Received his doctorate in Psychology in 1987, spent fifteen years as a staff psychologist in Millbrook Correctional Centre. In 2003 went into full-time private practice. read more
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Last updated: August 11, 2023
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After a tiring workout, all you want to do is to sleep on your comfy mattress and rest. However, it’s also important for you to increase your protein intake to help build muscle or reduce fat. For this purpose, taking protein shakes Trusted Source Do Protein Shakes Work? Muscle Gain and Weight Loss Protein shakes and powders have become a popular, high-quality source of this nutrient. This article focuses on the effectiveness of protein shakes for muscle gain and weight loss. before bed serves as a great source of nutrition, offering several health benefits.

This drink is particularly popular among bodybuilders, athletes, and adults who work out regularly. Whey protein shake before bed gives their muscles the nutrients to rebuild while they sleep. Protein shakes come in many flavors and can be taken as a meal on their own.

Typically, protein shakes are taken after a workout or as a breakfast drink. However, drinking a protein shake before bed can also be just as beneficial. In fact, doing this regularly can have numerous health benefits, including strength improvement, recovery, increase in muscle mass, and much more.

In this article, we will outline the health benefits of drinking protein shakes before bed in detail. We will also highlight any side effects, while also giving you various tips on improving strength!

Types and Health Benefits of Drinking Protein Shakes Before Bed

Should You Drink Protein Shakes Before Bed?

You will find many different types and flavors of protein powders. You can get whey, casein, pea, rice, and soy powders. Powders like casein, soy, and whey are reliable sources for a complete protein.

These powders usually contain all essential amino acids that are good for your body. Optimum Nutrition Gold is a great option for a whey protein source. This protein powder comes in all sorts of flavors.

If you’re someone who might be allergic to whey or are lactose intolerant, you can opt for vegetarian-based protein powders. Orgain Organic Unflavored Plant Based Protein Powder is a great vegan option you can consider.

Soy, pea, and rice are great options for plant-based protein. They are especially good if you are lactose-intolerant or are vegetarian or vegan. Among these options, soy contains all the essential amino acids, but it has a slower absorption time.

You can also consider casein-based protein powders if you want to increase your muscle protein stimulation. Casein is usually ideal in this case because it is slowly metabolized by the body. This also provides you energy throughout the day while making sure that you remain active.

In comparison, whey has a shorter time period for muscle protein stimulation. When it comes to protein types, there are many options that you can consider. Always choose an option that best suits your needs and is suitable for your body.

Benefits for Weight Gain

When it comes to building muscle or gaining muscle mass, protein is extremely important. Biologically, there are many natural processes going on inside our body that result in muscle building.

One of these processes includes the cycle of muscle protein breakdown as well as muscle protein synthesis. Muscle protein synthesis helps the muscles in our body to grow, recover and increase their strength.

On the other hand, muscle protein breakdown does the opposite. So, when we exercise, our body starts to break down the muscle protein in our body whereas consuming protein helps with building muscle.

When we are resting or sleeping, our body starts to break down the protein. This is why it is beneficial for us to consume protein shake before bed. Drinking a protein shake before sleeping stimulates muscle protein synthesis and helps in muscle building throughout the night.

Therefore, drinking a protein shake before bed ensures that the body maintains a positive protein balance while making sure that your body gains muscle mass as well.

Benefits for Weight Loss

Protein shakes are not just great for increasing muscle mass, but they also help you burn calories. Even when you’re sleeping, protein shakes stimulate your metabolism, making it faster.

When you take protein, your body will require more energy to digest it. In comparison to carbohydrates, the body will be burning extra calories to break down the protein molecules that are digested.

Apart from this, protein also makes you feel full, so you don’t get urges to eat every now and then, especially midnight snacks. Avoiding eating at night also helps promote weight loss in your body.

If you maintain a consistent active life and a healthy diet along with drinking protein before bed, you will be able to lose weight easily. In fact, protein will help increase muscle growth which in turn helps burn fat.

Along with a protein shake, it’s recommended that you eat in a calorie deficit or try to burn more calories than you consume in a day. Ideally, a calorie deficit of 500 calories is recommended. This deficit should be combined with physical activity as well.

How Much Should You Drink?

Drinking a protein shake before bed can be extremely beneficial, given the number of health benefits it has. Protein shakes can be especially useful if you want to gain muscle mass. They work well if you exercise regularly, and if you are metabolically healthy.

If you’re not interested in improving your muscle mass, then protein shakes before bed might not be worth all the hassle. However, if you are someone who has insulin resistance or diabetes, then it’s not recommended to drink a protein shake before bed.

The amount of protein shake that you drink can matter a lot. Protein contains 4 calories Trusted Source Fat and Calories: The Difference & Recommended Intake in a gram. You will find that most protein shake powders offer 100-300 calories in a serving, which can be beneficial if you want to gain muscle mass.

So, we recommend drinking 1 whole serving if you want to build and improve your muscle mass. However, if you are trying to lose weight then you might want to reduce the serving size as the amount of protein can be too excessive for the body to break down during sleep.

Ideally, you should consume 2 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. For example, if you are 100 pounds, then your protein consumption should be within 200 grams of protein per day.

Are There Any Side Effects?

You must be wondering, is a protein shake before bed good or bad?

While there can be many benefits to drinking protein shakes before bed, you should always be careful about the amount of protein shake that you drink. Protein shake overconsumption can result in various problems, including excessive weight gain, damage to the kidneys, loss of calcium in the body, heart problems, and risk of cancer.

In terms of short-term problems, you might face disruptions in your sleep. Since most protein shakes contain sugar, they can increase your energy levels, not allowing you to sleep soundly. Track your sleep cycle with a sleep tracker. If your sleep cycle isn’t looking healthy, then try changing your protein powder and opt for something with less sugar.

If you notice any serious problems, consult a doctor or nutritionist immediately and make all the necessary changes in your diet.

Protein Shake Recipes: What Can You Add?

The amazing thing about protein shakes is that they can work well with different flavors. To improve the taste of your protein shakes, you can add various ingredients, fruits, nuts, and condiments. Here are a few recipes that can work well for you:

1.   Chocolate and Peanut Butter Protein Shake

Should You Drink Protein Shakes Before Bed?

If you’re someone who loves sweet drinks, then you should try this protein shake. You will need:

  • 100g low-fat yogurt
  • 1 scoop peanut butter
  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder of your choice
  • 1 banana
  • Blueberries (optional)
  • 200 ml milk of your choice

After gathering your ingredients, put them in the blender and mix well. Your flavorful protein shake is ready for you to drink before bed!

2.   Green Protein Shake

Should You Drink Protein Shakes Before Bed?

If you’re looking for a healthy drink then you should opt for this green protein shake. It’s full of fruits and vegetables. To make this shake, you’ll need:

  • 100g yogurt
  • 1 scoop unflavored protein powder of your choice
  • 200 ml milk
  • 1 sliced kiwi
  • ½ banana
  • 1 avocado
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Put all the ingredients in a high-power blender and shake well. Your drink is now ready for you to enjoy!

More Tips for Better Sleep and Recovery for Those Who Are into Sports

Sports and strenuous physical activities can be hard on the body, which is why you need to sleep better for recovery. If you drink a protein shake before bed, your body will start producing amino-acid tryptophan which helps stimulate the production of serotonin as well as melatonin. For better sleep, mix your protein shake powder in tryptophan-rich food such as milk, yogurt, soy milk, and others.

Apart from protein shakes, try sleeping on a good mattress. If you feel like your mattress is not comfortable enough, then get a mattress topper that can help relieve back pain.

Final Thoughts

Protein shakes, when made using fresh and high-quality ingredients, are packed with nutrients that are beneficial for your body. While you may drink a protein shake before or after your workout, they also serve as a great drink before bed.

Drinking a protein shake before bed can aid in weight gain as well as weight loss. Its benefits depend on the amount you have. Protein shakes also help your body recover from physical pain. So, all in all, if you’re someone who workouts regularly, or is looking to gain or lose weight, having a protein shake before bed may be a good idea.

However, make sure to consult your dietician or healthcare professional before incorporating this routine on a regular or daily basis.

Good luck!


Do Protein Shakes Work? Muscle Gain and Weight Loss
Protein shakes and powders have become a popular, high-quality source of this nutrient. This article focuses on the effectiveness of protein shakes for muscle gain and weight loss.
Fat and Calories: The Difference & Recommended Intake
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