Bodybuilders have known for years that intense weight training is one of the keys to increasing muscle. A single resistance-training session stimulates both muscle protein synthesis (muscle building) and muscle breakdown. Fortunately, weight training stimulates protein synthesis to a greater extent than protein breakdown; however, protein balance will remain negative if you don’t eat enough nutrients, particularly protein which can lead to catabolism (muscle loss). It’s common practice for bodybuilders and other athletes to consume protein throughout the day, but recent research has shown that consuming protein at night (prior to sleeping) may represent another window of opportunity to further enhance muscle growth and recovery.
A total of 44 young men were recruited to take part in a progressive, 12-week resistance exercise training program. One group consumed a casein protein supplement containing 27.5 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrate, and 0.1 grams of fat every night before sleep. The other group received a non-caloric placebo. Muscle hypertrophy was assessed before and after exercise training, while strength was assessed regularly by one-repetition maximum strength testing. When the results came in, researchers found that strength increased after resistance exercise training to a significantly greater extent in the casein protein group than in the group not taking casein. What’s interesting is that quadriceps muscle cross-sectional area increased in both groups, but a greater increase was seen in the group taking casein protein than in the placebo group.
It remains unclear whether this beneficial effect from pre-sleep casein ingestion is caused by an increased total protein intake rather than by its specific timing. But it may be a preferred option for athletes who tend to crave something sweet late at night or for those who struggle to ingest enough protein throughout the day. Those who are in a calorie deficit have increased protein needs, and they would benefit from taking in slow-digesting protein sources such as MUTANT MICELLAR CASEIN.
This protein source is one of the slowest digesting protein sources known to science, which helps promote better recovery while also improving sleep quality.
MUTANT MICELLAR CASEIN can fit into the majority of bodybuilders’ nutrition routines with its wickedly addictive taste and is made with only the finest ingredients.
Steve O'Mahony, BSc MSc
Snijders T, Res PT, Smeets JS, van Vliet S, van Kranenburg J, Maase K, Kies AK, Verdijk LB, van Loon LJ(2015) Protein Ingestion before Sleep Increases Muscle Mass and Strength Gains during Prolonged Resistance-Type Exercise Training in Healthy Young Men. Journal of Nutrition. 145(6):1178-84. doi: 10.3945/jn.114.208371.