Consumption of protein before bed can promote muscle growth

Studies have shown that intake of protein before bed is an effective dietary strategy to improve overnight muscle protein synthesis. Ultimately, this will lead to development in skeletal muscle growth for better training.

I want to take you through several terminologies to help you with better understanding of how protein works in our body and how we can optimise its potential to build muscles and strength.

  • Muscle growth.

What makes muscle grow? 2 things:

Proper training (Stimulus) + Proper nutrition (Fuel) = Muscle growth

But how does this relate to our initial question of why protein consumption before bed can promote muscle growth?

The answers are “Muscle Protein Metabolism” and “Net protein”

  • Muscle Protein Metabolism and Net Protein.

Muscle protein metabolism is a dynamic process characterized by the balance between the synthesis and breakdown of muscle proteins [1]

Too fancy? Ok let’s look at this in a simple way.

Muscle protein synthesis is biological processes by which individual cells build their specific proteins. This is the best period to consume protein.

Muscle protein breakdown is biological process of removing of “old” protein in the body and replacing those with new protein through the process of protein synthesis.

The net protein classification is shown below:

  • A net protein balance – where muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and muscle protein breakdown (MPB) are, overall, equal – will result in maintenance of muscle protein.
  • A net positive protein balance – where muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is, overall, higher than muscle protein breakdown (MPB) – will result in an increase in muscle protein.
  • A net negative protein balance – where muscle protein synthesis (MPS) is, overall, lower than muscle protein breakdown (MPB) – will result in a decrease in muscle protein.


Now we know that we want to stay in the “Net positive protein balance” which means we want to have more muscle protein synthesis than muscle protein breakdown. Now the question is how?

A study showed that by consuming average-sized meal with moderate amount of protein, muscle protein synthesis would increase for around 5 hours.[2]

[?] So what if we consume protein at a more frequent rate before the 5-mark.

It was shown that muscle protein synthesis wouldn’t increase more.[3]

[?] So what if we consume meals infrequently.

You will miss out on that muscle protein synthesis spike.

What is the moral of this story?

Have more average-sized meal with moderate protein amount more frequently.