- Oct 15, 2019
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Protein bedtime snacks are no problem for active woman researchers say
In a study of women weight lifters, nutrition scientists at FSU showed that protein consumption before bed compared to protein consumption during the day does not disturb overnight belly fat metabolism or whole-body fat burn.
The findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, challenge widespread misconceptions about the relationship between nighttime eating, weight gain and metabolism, especially in women.
"For far too long, people have been led to believe that eating before bed causes metabolic disturbances and will make them gain fat," said study author Michael Ormsbee, an associate professor in the College of Human Sciences and the associate director of the FSU Institute of Sports Sciences & Medicine.
"However, the data simply does not support this when the food we choose
While past research has uncovered substantial benefits of nighttime protein consumption, most existing work on the topic focuses exclusively on men.
In this study, Ormsbee and his team used two experimental conditions to investigate fat metabolism in a sample of women weight trainers.
In one condition, the study participants drank a casein protein shake
In the other condition, the participants drank the shakes in the reverse order.
"We wanted to investigate how drinking a protein shake before bed influenced overnight metabolism of fat in fit women as compared to taking that protein
Researchers then deployed a strategic measurement approach designed
First, they documented participants' lipolysis -- or fat release from fat cells --
Then, the team used breath sample measurements to evaluate participants'
Scientists have long known that protein consumption paired with exercise
She and her partners were eager to identify whether, in an active resistance
The team's measurements revealed that, for women who lift weights,
"In women who weight train, there are no differences in overnight local belly fat metabolism or whole-body fat burn whether you eat protein in the form of a
"So, essentially, you can eat protein before bed and not disturb fat metabolism."
Allman said she hopes this study and subsequent follow-up
investigations will help demystify the science of women's nighttime
eating and clear
away harmful, unfounded beliefs.
"There are such bad misconceptions about eating at night, that it will
make me gain weight' or 'slow my metabolism,'" she said.
"The research suggests that really only holds true if you're eating a ton of
There are so many potential beneficial effects of eating protein at night,
and it will be extremely important to take all of this science to the
community to try to change the outlook of these dietary habits."
This research was funded by the Florida State University College of Human Sciences Dissertation Award Program, the Florida State University Graduate