The Best Pre-Bed Snacks
When it comes to after-hours snacking, it can be tempting to raid the fridge without much thought. In the attempt to curb our cravings, we often consume a high calorie quota and snack on foods that then impact everything from our sleep to our weight loss goals and gut health. It’s not all bad news though; if you must snack there are ways to do it that minimise the damage and still satisfy. Read on to discover more…
When to snack
While it may seem like bedtime snacking goes against the very premise of 12-hour eating, there are ways to snack that still ensure you’re reaping the rewards of time-restricted eating; benefits of which include improved gut health, better quality sleep and optimised training. If you know you’re prone to snacking but want to adhere to your eating window, then simply factor in an earlier dinner time to allow for a later snack; if your hours are 9am-9pm, it may mean that dinner is at 7pm and you can enjoy your snack at 8.45pm.
What to eat
Of course, what you choose to eat is just as important as when you eat it, so try not to consume anything too heavy that could impact your ability to get a good night’s sleep. Stick to whole foods and avoid processed foods as much as possible. Your body has to do less work breaking them down and they’re less likely to be loaded with sugar which can spike your energy levels before bed.
Another great option is to pair carb heavy foods with a protein source. Protein is a great source of tryptophan, an amino acid that boosts the hormone serotonin, the precursor the melatonin, which you need for sleep. Eating the two together helps make tryptophan more available to the brain, so opting for something like some shredded chicken on crackers is a good pre-bedtime option.
If you’re someone who needs something sweet right before bed, a healthy snack that can sate your cravings is always a better option than a poor-quality dessert. A small banana dipped in nut butter is a great idea, as is a protein-rich smoothie, which will allow you to boost tryptophan and support muscle repair while you’re at it. Add a scoop of Workshop’s Chocolate Protein Formula alongside a banana and a handful of nuts, both of which are good sources of serotonin.