top of page

Eating before going to bed: Why that is a BAD idea...

Updated: Mar 3, 2021

It’s a tricky business, losing fat. Anyone who’s wanted to resculpt or refine their body will know that spreading calorie allowance across a day is complicated.

As a focused athlete the urge is for aggressive dieting through the day, squeezing those portions down only to feel the rumbles by 8pm. That’s when the cupboard door swings open, snacks come flying out and guilt hovers. My weakness? TOAST!

Aside from crashing through the ceiling of your planned calorie count for the day, you’re likely causing much more harm to your performance than you realise.

Eating just before you hit the hay will put your metabolism in slow motion, cause fitful sleep through blood sugar spikes and spark other digestion issues like reflux and indigestion.

Switch the machine OFF

In the evening your body slows down to prepare for sleep. Eating before bed, especially if it’s carbohydrate-rich foods which are not easily digested can result in weight gain as the calories turn to fat.

Let your blood sugar lower naturally

Eating foods with a high glycaemic index such as bread, fruit or sugary cereal before bed will boost energy levels – and the chances you’ll be shifter around restlessly waiting to sleep.

Our experience of working with athletes using tools like Whoop shows us that sleep disruption is significantly increased by the consumption of carbohydrates pre-sleep. Our athletes show a decreased Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and increased resting heart rate the following morning.

So, that sneaky bowl of cereal before bed could be robbing you of proper recovery after a hard day’s training.

Feel the burn when the sun is up… not after dark

Another major impact of eating before going to sleep is the potential for acid reflux and indigestion.

When we eat before falling asleep, the undigested food lying in your stomach creates acid which can leak up the oesophagus when we’re horizontal – prompting reflux at the chest and discomfort.

This, again, will have you tossing and turning.

But I’m not a pro? I train in the evening, so do I have to starve?

Our advice for late-night trainers is to have your main meal of the evening in advance of the night’s session.

If you do need to snack afterwards, try to consume some complex carbohydrates and proteins such as whole-grain crackers or toast with peanut butter or avocado.

If you are supplementing with protein shakes it is worth considering casein protein, which has a slower release than whey and also improves sleep.

Elevation Coaching design and deliver training plans bespoke to your needs including comprehensive nutrition guidance. Wherever you are riding in the world our training plans will PUSH YOU and help you ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS FASTER!

Contact us now to go faster :

Go straight to our homepage to learn more

163 views0 comments


bottom of page