Cottage cheese is the perfect pre-bedtime snack due to its high protein value while being low in carbohydrates and fat (if you stick with the low-fat or fat-free type). Eating cottage cheese before bed is a popular practice among bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. Let’s examine the benefits of cottage cheese…
Increasing Muscle Growth
Cottage cheese is high in casein protein, a slow digesting protein that will distribute the amino acids to the muscle tissues for hours on end. Amino acids, which make up protein, are the most important nutrient for building the muscle since it aids in muscle growth and recovery. Also, consuming cottage cheese before bed will keep your body from going catabolic when you sleep. When you go to sleep, your metabolism slows down, and you enter a fasting mode in which the body is not given any food as fuel. The body must still maintain its vital functions, such as breathing and blood circulation. This requires energy, which the body typically uses from the muscles. Therefore, your body can actually break down the precious muscle tissue, which is not something we want when we are trying to build muscle. Since casein protein is digested so slowly, the body will use the energy provided by the cottage cheese rather than siphon energy from the muscles. Therefore, your muscle tissue is preserved and can actually grow with all the protein provided by the cottage cheese.
Increasing Fat Loss
When you are trying to lose weight, you want to increase your protein intake while simultaneously cutting out the fat and carbohydrates. Fat-free cottage cheese is straight protein with no fat and little carbohydrates, which is exactly what you want when you’re trying to lose extra weight.
Cottage cheese is great when you are dieting. Since casein protein digests at a slower rate, your body is more filled up than if you used whey protein or other protein sources that digest quicker. Therefore, cottage cheese may keep you from going hungry and eating late at night while encouraging you to eat less in the morning. In terms of your satiety, cottage cheese may be best for that late-night snack.
Cottage cheese contains the amino acid tryptophan, which will naturally help you fall asleep quicker and be kept asleep. The amino acid increases serotonin production and serotonin is the neurotransmitter than helps regulate sleep.
Make sure you stick with low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese to gain its full health benefits. You should usually consume the fat-free version but if you don’t like how it tastes then use the low-fat. Never go with the regular cottage cheese as it’s loaded with fat. If you hate the taste of cottage cheese, have it with some fruit like pineapple or strawberries. You can even sprinkle some stevia on it, a sugar substitute that is sweeter than sugar and has little to none of sugar’s unhealthy drawbacks. The benefits of cottage cheese are endless so make it an integral part of your diet.