Optimal Bedtime Snacks

Most people will say that snacking before bedtime is bad for you and will lead to weight gain. And while there may be some truth to this, making it taboo will only make you to want to snack even more! Instead of starving yourself (which by the way is not great if you want a long and restful sleep), allow yourself a light snack if you feel hungry. The secret is in knowing the right foods to eat and making allowances in your diet if you know that you are prone to a midnight fridge raid.

Below are some great snack options to have 45mins- 1 hour before bedtime...

Almonds

Choose between a handful of almonds or opt for almond butter (on whole grain bread/ crackers), either way it is a great snack to have before bedtime. Almonds are protein-rich and a good source of fibre. They are sure to satisfy your hunger while providing you with a solid dose of magnesium. This mineral is associated with relaxing the muscles so it can help you drift off into a restful slumber.

Banana

As we all know by now, bananas are packed with potassium and magnesium. The NHS has also stated that they are a source of tryptophan which converts to serotonin in the brain, helping to promote a calming and sleep-inducing state. It can be used to combat insomnia and many sufferers of sleep disorders rate bananas highly among alternative treatment methods. Bananas also contain vitamin B12 which is associated with stress reduction. As stress is a leading cause of sleep disorders, this makes it the perfect bedtime snack.

Oatmeal

If you keep the portion size down, slow release carbohydrates are a great pre-bedtime snack. Avoid topping your oatmeal with sugar or sweeteners and opt for banana slices or sliced cherries for an extra melatonin boost.

A nice warm bowl of oatmeal is a ‘comfort food’ but without the guilt.

Cottage Cheese

The perfect bedtime treat if you want to promote muscle growth. Cottage cheese contains casein protein which is a slow digesting protein source. It produces a stable elevation of amino acids that lasts for up to 7 hours making it ideal to prevent muscle breakdown during the night.

Berries

Fibre is essential to weight maintenance and digestive health. It helps you to feel full and avoid digestive upset which may be keeping you awake at night. Raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are high in fibre and are a perfect bedtime snack for those who crave something sweet ;).

If you are looking for the best drinks to wash down your delicious snacks or you would prefer a warm drink as opposed to a snack, chamomile or green tea are great choices. Green tea contains theanine which helps you fall asleep. Chamomile tea contains chrysin which helps alleviate anxiety, relax muscles and induce a more refreshing sleep.

Reference:

Llewellyn W, Sport Supplement Reference Guide, 2009.

About the Author

Job Role Sports Nutritionist and Social Media Coordinator Qualifications Bsc Sport and Exercise Science Steph has a competitive athletic background which spans 19 years. As a child she performed with the English Youth Ballet and had performed on the West End stage by the age of 10. Her enthusiasm for sport and fitness continued to grow as she did, encouraging her to learn more about nutrition and training. She began using her knowledge and personal experience to help others when she began coaching at the age of 16. From here, she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex during which time she also received the Most Promising Newcomer Award from her University to mark her outstanding contribution to sport. During her first year of study she was introduced to partner stunt acrobatics and artistic gymnastics. After one year of dedicating herself to a lifestyle revolving around her sport, she was training with the best team in the UK who are currently ranked fifth in the world. Steph has worked in both the private and public sector coaching children and adults from grassroot to elite level as well as providing them with cutting edge advice on how to reach their goals. Steph has received awards for her choreography and has competed nationally and internationally meaning that she can back up her scientific knowledge with a wealth of experience. As our resident Sports Nutritionist, Steph is here to provide the most current and evidence based fitness, health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
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