Do you want to optimize your muscle anabolism and especially your nocturnal anabolism? Nutrimuscle supports you with a lot of relevant information on the subject.
Optimize your muscle anabolism
At night, our muscles and nervous system are supposed to recover from the day's exertions in the weight room or in training.
While relaxation allows the nervous system to regenerate, the quality of muscle recovery depends largely on nutritional intake .
Nocturnal anabolism rhythm
By going a long time without eating, the level of amino acids in the blood will gradually drop during the night . As the speed of muscle protein synthesis (anabolism) as well as their speed of degradation (catabolism) are directly linked to the level of blood amino acids, the night often does not turn out to be as restorative as one would think. .
As the night progresses, the lower the level of amino acids in the blood, the more the power of the anabolism will crumble. On the contrary, faced with the lack of amino acids in the blood, the body begins to draw them from the muscles, thus accelerating catabolism.
So there is no miracle: no amino acids in the blood = no anabolism and a lot of catabolism . This, all medical studies show.
The effects of lack of amino acids in the blood
For example, in men and women between the ages of 20 and 41, a 12-hour overnight fast results in net muscle catabolism (1).
At the end of the night, the speed of muscle catabolism is twice as fast as that of anabolism: that's not how you gain muscle.
This anabolically catastrophic situation explains why simply eating protein in the morning nearly triples the magnitude of anabolism (1).
A mega dose of protein in the morning
Be careful though, we recommend a mega dose of protein in the morning after the night fast, because the intestine will also consume some of it which will therefore not go directly into our muscles.
In doing so, the net nitrogen balance of the muscles becomes positive again since anabolism then exceeds catabolism.
Convert catabolism to anabolism
There's a simple way to replace this nocturnal catabolism with powerful anabolism: eat slow-acting protein before bed . This reversal is perfectly illustrated by a 2012 scientific study.
Young men who did a 60-minute weight training session around 8 p.m. all received, just after it, 20 g of protein + 60 g of carbohydrates (2).
Then two groups were formed. Around 11 p.m., just before going to sleep, a first group received a drink containing 40 g of casein (a slow-digesting and therefore long-acting protein). Another group received this same drink, but without the casein.
Without protein, blood amino acid levels dropped overnight. With casein, instead of decreasing, the level of amino acids gradually increased. It remained elevated throughout the night.
Action of casein during the night
Thanks to casein , the speed of protein synthesis remained 26% higher than under placebo. With casein, the catabolism was stemmed whereas it was accelerated with the placebo. The balance between anabolism and catabolism therefore remains positive with casein, whereas it is very negative with placebo.
The gain in net lean mass reached 61 mol per kilo during the period with casein against a loss of 11 mol per kilo with the placebo. We thus find the catabolic phenomena of which we spoke previously when one does not eat proteins before going to sleep .
If we look at what happens more specifically in the muscles, the difference in anabolism is 22% greater with casein than without it.
Muscle anabolism: conclusion
It seems obvious that if we want to obtain muscle growth, we must take protein especially before going to bed , because it is not by not eating anything that we will be able to develop. If it goes without saying, it goes even better by saying it!
(1) Levenhagen DK. Postexercise nutrient intake timing in humans is critical to recovery of leg glucose and protein homeostasis. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Jun;280(6):E982-93.
(2) Peter T. Protein Ingestion Prior To Sleep Improves Post-Exercise Overnight Recovery. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: POST ACCEPTANCE, 9 February 2012 Res.