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Video: Eating Before Bed Is Not Bad For Women, As Long As It's Protein
Eating before bed is not bad for women, as long as it's protein
Many believe that eating at night will help you gain weight and slow your metabolism. A new study by American authors shows that this is true only if you eat a lot of high-calorie foods rich in fats and carbohydrates. But eating protein is beneficial.
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According to a new study by American scientists from Florida State University, physically active women should not be afraid to open the refrigerator after sunset to eat something high in protein. The results of the study, published in the journal Nutrition, challenge widespread misconceptions about the link between bedtime eating, weight gain, and metabolism, especially in women.
A study of women involved in weightlifting showed that eating protein foods before bedtime does not disrupt the metabolism of abdominal adipose tissue and the process of burning fat in the body in general.
“For too long, people have been led to believe that eating before bedtime causes metabolic disturbances and causes them to gain fat. But research data simply doesn't support this if the foods we eat before bed are predominantly proteinaceous and small in volume,”says study author Michael Ormsbee.
Earlier research has found significant benefits of consuming protein at night, but most of the existing work on this topic has focused exclusively on men. In a new study, the authors focused their attention on female weightlifting coaches.
The participants were first given a casein protein shake to drink 30 minutes after training, and then a placebo with a similar taste 30 minutes before bedtime. Then the participants drank the same cocktails in reverse order.
“We wanted to find out how eating a protein shake before bed affects fat metabolism in healthy women during the night versus taking this protein shake at other times of the day,” commented Ormsby's experiment.
The scientists evaluated the participants 'lipolysis (the release of fat from fat cells) to determine if the timing of protein intake was related to the cells' ability to release stored fat into surrounding tissues. The authors then analyzed the participants' breathing to assess the level of fat oxidation and the body's ability to burn fat.
Scientists have long known that protein intake combined with exercise promotes the release of fat by cells. In the course of this study, they found that for women who lift weights, the benefits of eating at night far outweigh the negative effects.
The authors argue that their research will help eliminate harmful, unfounded attitudes about bedtime eating for women.
“There is an unfounded misconception about eating at night: it makes you gain weight and slows down your metabolism. Our research shows that this is only true if you eat a ton of high-calorie foods rich in fats and carbs. But eating protein has many beneficial effects. And it's important to get this message across to the community to try to change the way some dietary habits are viewed,”says co-author Brittany Allman.