Best before-bed nutrition
A healthy snack before you sleep can help you feel (and run) better in the morning
YOU'RE CRAVING SOMETHING SWEET
BEST BITE Fruit ‘sorbet’. Blend frozen blueberries and watermelon.
WHY It satisfies that craving for something sweet but has few calories. The antioxidants in blueberries reduce oxidative stress caused by exercise, while studies show watermelon contains an amino acid that eases muscle aches.
YOU’RE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT
BEST BITE Greek yoghurt with cinnamon and vanilla.
WHY The protein quells latenight stomach rumbles, says nutritionist Lauren Antonucci. Choose plain yoghurt and add cinnamon and vanilla for flavour. Eat it 30 minutes before bed to boost metabolism the next morning, according to a 2014 study.
YOU’RE RUNNING TOMORROW BEFORE BREAKFAST
BEST BITE Nut butter and strawberries on wholegrain bread.
WHY The complex carbs and protein will curb your morning hunger. ‘Eat it three hours after dinner to top up your glycogen,’ says Connie Diekman, director of University Nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, US.
YOU HAD A TOUGH TRAINING DAY
BEST SIP Chocolate milk. WHY It provides fluid (for hydration), sugar (for muscle glycogen) and protein (for muscle repair). Drinking casein (a protein found in milk) 30 minutes before bed improves muscle-protein synthesis overnight, says a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
YOU CAN’T SLEEP – AND YOU HAVE AN UPCOMING RACE
BEST BITE Crackers with Swiss (or cheddar) cheese.
WHY The carb-protein combo supplies the amino acid tryptophan, which helps you sleep. Eating refined carbs (such as those in crackers) before bed shortens the time it takes to drift off, says a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
YOU RAN EARLIER IN THE EVENING
BEST BITE Scrambled eggs and veggies in a wholewheat tortilla.
WHY Eat something sizeable now or you’ll be starving at midnight, says Antonucci, when you may make a bad food choice. Eggs jumpstart recovery and veggies supply an extra serving of your five a day in case you fell short earlier on.
Greek yoghurt with cinnamon and vanilla Chocolate milk Try 230ml of tart cherry juice twice a day for two weeks. The melatonin content can help you sleep. Nut butter with strawberries Crackers with Swiss cheese Scrambled eggs and veg in wholewheat tortilla