FAQ’s: Can Protein Help You Sleep?
The short answer? Yes! Now, let us explain…
Recent studies have seen a great link between diet and sleep quality, particularly when it comes to protein consumption. In fact, research done by Purdue University showed that those who ate a higher protein diet (1.5g of protein per kg of body weight), reported better sleep quality! So, if you’re struggling to get enough shut-eye, it might be worth looking at how shortfalls in your diet might be preventing you from drifting off…
And this is even more important for those who exercise regularly. Although we often tout the awesome benefits of movement on getting a good night’s sleep, extremely intense exercise (particularly when done late in the day) can do the complete opposite – interrupting our sleep patterns and limiting our recovery.
So, what should you eat to aid a good night’s sleep?
We covered this on a recent blogpost, here, but in a nutshell – refuel smart with plenty of protein and carbs. High-protein foods that contain the amino acid tryptophan are ideal, as this is known to cause sleepiness. Pair this with a healthy serving of carbohydrates to make even more tryptophan available to the brain.
For the easiest pre-bed refuel, we’d suggest mixing a sachet of whey protein with milk. This will give you the benefits of both whey and casein protein. Slower absorbing than whey, the naturally occurring casein protein found in milk will keep you fuller for longer and will drip-feed your body with everything it needs whilst you sleep. To boost up the carbohydrate content, make a bowl of protein oats and top with berries – it'll have you sleeping like a baby in no time!