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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 09-07-06, 09:20 AM   #1
Mayonnaise
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What To Eat Just Before Bed

My job has unusual hours. I've got about an hour from the time I get home until the time I go to bed. I am always starving.

I know they say to not eat anything before bed, but I've got to have something.

I've been told to stay away from most everything except maybe a "clean" protein (turkey breast).

I have to eat something, so I need the lesser of the evils. To make it more complicated, I don't want much fuss, it's got to be something that'll be ready in just a few minutes.

Looking for options that make sense to my lifestyle. Thanks
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Old 09-07-06, 09:22 AM   #2
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Probably not your username.

A spoon full of peanut butter? I would say not carbs. A can of tuna?
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Old 09-07-06, 09:37 AM   #3
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Mayo

Since you're trying to gain weight, a can of tuna on some good bread would be nice and simple. That or throw together a shake with some fresh fruit, protein powder, yogurt, and honey. It's a bit more "work" but you could sip that while you wind down before bed.
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Old 09-07-06, 10:06 AM   #4
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check this out:

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What is tryptophan?

Tryptophan is an essential Amino Acid. Tryptophan is a component of many plant and animal proteins, and a normal part of the diet that humans must get from outside sources. It is a precursor (starting material) for serotonin from which our brains make serotonin, which is then used to calm you down and make you sleepy. Tryptophan also helps in niacin (B vitamins) production.
Foods that are considered sources of tryptophan are dairy products, beef, poultry, barley, brown rice, fish, soybeans, and peanuts.

L-tryptophan, in substantial quantities, is a natural sedative. It is normally found in turkey meat, and many people believe it to be the cause of a sleepiness common after a Thanksgiving feast.


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Old 09-07-06, 11:10 AM   #5
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a light sandwich has worked for me in the past. I've stayed away from the peanut butter because of the fat content.

I've also grilled a turkey burger before and that seems to work.
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Old 09-07-06, 11:22 AM   #6
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Cottage cheese is always a nice late snack. Pretty good for you too.
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Old 09-07-06, 01:10 PM   #7
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I know they say to not eat anything before bed, but I've got to have something.
Ya know I gotta get around to meeting "they." "They" seem to know a lot.

There is nothing wrong with eating before bed. Though, eating some chocolate covered espresso beans may not be a good idea.
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Old 09-07-06, 01:26 PM   #8
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It doesn't matter what time of day you eat. Monitor your calorie intake, make sure you are getting the right amount throughout the course of the day to gain/lose what you want. Calorie intake versus calorie output is what it's all about -- not what time you consume the calories.

That said: there are other reasons you might want to avoid certain foods before bed, e.g. those containing caffeine. But a calorie is a calorie...
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Old 09-07-06, 01:37 PM   #9
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Yeah, the only problem with eating late is "extra" calories that puts your total calorie intake above the amount you burned off. You could've eaten those extra snack calories at 2pm or 8am or 9pm, doesn't matter, it'll pile on as extra weight regardless.

However, if you have a shifted work schedule that has you eating breakfast at 11am, lunch at 5pm and dinner at 10pm, that's perfectly fine.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-07-06 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 09-07-06, 01:37 PM   #10
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I agree that a calorie is a calorie. I'm sure there are studies that blah blah blah. I don't discount the studies I just think they're probably targeting the standard sedentary American.

Also I would avoid things like raisins and other dental nightmares before bed.
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Old 09-07-06, 02:05 PM   #11
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I'd take my supper to the office and eat an hour before I ride. Then a bottle of good beer when I'm home:
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Old 09-07-06, 03:13 PM   #12
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I get home ~11pm. By bike, usually. I eat normal meals at normal times. This means I arrive home HUNGRY. What works for me is a serving of yogurt. If I'm really famished, I'll tear into some chicken or other lean meat as well.
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Old 09-07-06, 08:52 PM   #13
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I find that if my stomach is really empty it's hard to sleep. Bananas are great for bedtime snacks. Easy to digest and they help you sleep. ALso if you ever get up in the middle of the night and your stomach is growling, it's good to have a banana. They fill you up and dont' cause indigestion. I also like toasted raisin bread.
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Old 09-08-06, 09:09 AM   #14
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There are some valid reasons to not eat before bed. Having all that active acid churning away in your stomach while you are in a laid-down position can introduce the digestive juices to parts of the digestive tract that they don't belong in, and while I am not a gastroenterologist I do speak from my own experience, that eating even a small meal and lying down right after of that can cause some seriously painful gastritis.

If I were you I'd eat that meal as soon as possible after I got home to give my stomach as much time (my rule is at least an hour) to digest it before I go to bed. Or... why can't you just go to bed a little later?
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Old 09-08-06, 10:35 AM   #15
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Of course I can’t remember why I was told not to eat before bed, but I thought it had something to do with the food sitting in the stomach and not digesting for 8 hours, and what does digest turns more readily into fat (the sugars maybe). And that there may be an added strain on the heart and body which causes restless sleep.

I’ve always ignored this advice because I’m hungry.
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Old 09-08-06, 03:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
Ive always ignored this advice because Im hungry.
Listen to your body and not others' B.S.
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Old 09-08-06, 06:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
Of course I can’t remember why I was told not to eat before bed, but I thought it had something to do with the food sitting in the stomach and not digesting for 8 hours, and what does digest turns more readily into fat (the sugars maybe). And that there may be an added strain on the heart and body which causes restless sleep.
Well... food doesn't sit in your stomach, it'll be digested even when you're sleeping. There's no air-space in the stomach, it's a muscle stretches and shrinks to contain the volume needed (unless you're swallowing air with your food, then a burp takes care of that).

Now the food that is digested can go into different pathways depending upon the state your body's in. If it's in a depleted state, like it's been hours since your last meal, or if you've just gotten back from a ride, pretty much ALL of that food's going to be going into replenishing your glycogen stores and rebuilding muscle. You can be sitting around watching TV afterwards, going to sleep, or fixing the bike, doesn't matter, that food will end up at the same place, in the muscles.

HOWEVER, IF you've already eaten dinner and your glycogen stores AND you eat a snack right before bed, then this extra food & calories will end up as fat on your body. Doesn't matter if it's a candy-bar, slices of cinnamon toast, potato-chips, burger, etc. it'll end up getting converted to fat because there's no more room for glycogen in your muscles & liver.

So the determining factor in piling on fat is when you eat, but rather of how much you eat in relation to your glycogen-stores. If it's low, then eat, if not don't, simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayonnaise
I’ve always ignored this advice because I’m hungry.
Good, listen to your body... Feeling hunger is in the brain due to low insulin and low blood-sugar levels. Feeling hungry all the time will cause your body to switch to starvation/famine mode for self-preservation. Your metabolism will slow dow, your body will convert muscle into fat for the long winter, all of which is counter to your goals. Eat a little snack to raise your blood-sugar, which raises insulin and leptin and you'll stop feeling hungry. Another guy mentioned sugar-water and olive-oil to ward off hunger-pangs, which I'm gonna test next.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 09-08-06 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 09-08-06, 06:26 PM   #18
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I can tell you what to eat before bed, in bed even, but I'd be banned.
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Old 09-09-06, 12:35 PM   #19
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Here's what I've been eating late at night lately:

plain lowfat yogurt
fresh blueberries
a few crushed walnuts

If it's not sweet enough, I'll add a tablespoon of strawberry preserves.

Very satisfying, and the three main ingredients are Super Foods. It cuts my hunger, and it's good for me. Plus, it's trivial to prepare.
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Old 09-09-06, 05:23 PM   #20
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Micellar Casein

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=525024

It tastes good too!
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Old 09-10-06, 08:25 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by normZurawski
I agree that a calorie is a calorie.
I just asked my nutrition counselor about this. She didn't have a good answer, admitting she's read a lot on both sides of this issue.

I was surprised, but she tells her weight-loss clients to not eat late because of the metabolic slowdown. But if you have a surplus, you have a surplus. I don't understand why the time is an issue.

Ahh well.
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Old 09-10-06, 08:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnygofaster
I just asked my nutrition counselor about this. She didn't have a good answer, admitting she's read a lot on both sides of this issue.

I was surprised, but she tells her weight-loss clients to not eat late because of the metabolic slowdown. But if you have a surplus, you have a surplus. I don't understand why the time is an issue.

Ahh well.
Well I don't think there are 2 sides to the calorie-is-a-calorie issue. It's pretty much a cold hard fact.

My guess is, she probably advises weight-loss clients not to eat late at night because it's likely they're already at or near their caloric limit for the day and thus more likely to overdo it with a late-night snack -- but not because calories consumed at that time of day add more weight or some crazy idea like that.
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