Protein shakes have long been touted for athletes to build and repair muscle. But they can also help you achieve your other health goals, such as sleeping better at night.

How Much Protein Does The Body Need?

The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines state that 10-35 percent of your daily calories should come from a protein source. This equals 0.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight. If you’re an athlete or engage in intense weight lifting and resistance exercises, you should increase the amount of protein to 0.7 grams per pound of body weight.

Benefits of Drinking Protein Shakes Before Bed

The benefits of drinking protein shakes for athletes are pretty clear. But there are other benefits to consuming a protein shake before bed, outlined below.

You may enjoy better sleep.

Protein drinks contain the amino acid tryptophan. This amino acid helps your body produce two very important hormones, serotonin and melatonin. Serotonin is the hormone that helps you feel happy, while melatonin is the hormone that induces sleep. These hormones help you enter more periods of deep sleep during the night.

It can increase your overall energy levels.

The extra protein helps your muscles repair and recondition. You will increase your endurance for exercise and will have increased strength. Our bodies are regulated by many cycles. In order to build muscles, you need more synthesis and less breakdown. When you are sleeping, your muscles are not activated, leading to protein breakdown. If you have protein before bed, however, your body will have enough to preserve your muscle mass.

It may accelerate weight loss.

Ingesting protein before bed helps you burn calories while you sleep. Your body will require more energy to process the protein, which will increase your metabolism. Just be careful to watch the sugar amount in your protein shake. You don’t want to be ingesting high levels of sugar before bed. Protein suppresses ghrelin (the hunger hormone) and increases leptin (the satiety hormone). It will satisfy your cravings and keep you from late-night junk food cravings.

What Type of Protein Shake Should You Use Before Bed?

There are many types of proteins used in protein shakes. Casein, soy, and whey are the only ones that are complete proteins, meaning they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. Your body metabolizes casein at a slower rate, which is why it is often recommended if you’re trying to lose weight. Micellar casein is the best form of casein.

According to Legion Athletics, a major protein shake manufacturer, “Micellar casein is a form of casein protein that has been produced in a way that maximally preserves its slow-digesting properties.It’s the highest quality casein protein powder you can buy and has a stellar amino acid profile, providing you with 13 grams of essential amino acids per serving.”

Go Ahead, Have a Treat Before Bed

While eating right before you go to bed is generally discouraged, protein shakes are the exception to this rule. By ingesting a high-quality shake made of casein protein, you will enjoy better sleep, more energy, more muscle buildup with less muscle depletion, and you may even lose some weight in the process. So go ahead and enjoy your evening protein shake.