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Is eating carbohydrates before bed wrong?


One of beliefs more common is that ingesting carbohydrates in the evening before going to sleep is very wrong and extremely harmful to health. But are we so sure that eating a biscuit at midnight is very different from enjoying it during the day?

here are the pros and cons of evening carbohydrate consumption to know for clarity.

Fast and slow carbohydrates

The first thing to know is that not all carbohydrates are the samebut there are two types, each of which is absorbed differently, and generates different effects on the body.

I Fast carbohydrates lack fiber and include sugary foods such as soda, candy, and white bread. Their characteristic is to come digested quickly, but leave you hungry immediately afterwards.

I slow carbohydratessuch as beans, quinoa or sweet potatoes, are instead rich in fibre and provide energy slowly and steadily, satiating for longer and avoiding energy surges.

It is often believed that the more carbohydrates you eat, the more energy you store and since the body requires less of them during the night, it seems obvious to assume that the sugars we ingest by eating carbohydrates late in the evening are more likely to be stored than burned.

It's important not to overdo it

This, however, is not always said because the calories in a slice of cake are the same no matter what time you decide to eat it. To do the differencehowever, more than the clock, it is the amount.

In the evening or during the night, in fact, we often tend to go astray more compared to the rest of the day and to allow yourself larger portions, especially if you have eaten little during the daytime, and you arrive at a certain time particularly hungry. This condition encourages binges on unhealthy snacks, which can be avoided by eating regularly and including high-quality carbohydrates during meals so that sugar cravings do not arise excessively in the evening.

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Effects of nocturnal carbohydrate intake

While there is no doubt that the quantity and quality of the carbohydrates you choose have an impact on your health, there is less clarity on whether ingesting them at one specific time of day is better than another.

Each personIndeed, tolerates carbohydrates differently, some feel better by taking more in the morning, others get more satisfactory results by dividing them into small portions throughout the day and still others prefer to consume them at night. The real difference could instead be the final objective.

In general, there are pros and cons to whether or not you should eat before going to sleep.

Weight loss

According to several studies, you are more likely to be able to lose weight if you prefer one high-carb breakfast and a low-carb dinner rather than the other way around.

Furthermore, carbohydrate intake earlier in the day would improve cardio-metabolic outcomes compared to night-time intake.

Sleep quality

Overdo it with refined carbohydrates at any time of the day can compromise the quality of sleep and in particular, according to a study published in February 2020 in the Journal of the American Heart Association, a large intake of added sugars would negatively impact that of women.

What can also disturb your sleep if you consume too much sugar before going to bed are digestive problems consequent.

However, this does not mean having to completely eliminate carbohydrates in the evening, given that healthy ones can, on the contrary, be useful for increasing the production of serotonin, a precursor of melatonin, and reduce cortisolthe stress hormone.

Not to mention that a small, healthy snack before bed can help you feel full and avoid waking up hungry in the middle of the night. Even in this case, therefore, the rule of not exaggerating applies.

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Sleeping little can lead to several unpleasant consequences for the body.

Athletic performance

For those who usually carry out resistance training, the timing of carbohydrate consumption is critically important. In fact, without an adequate amount consumed at regular intervals, glycogen reserves can become depleted and athletic performance suffer.

For this reason, athletes, in agreement with their nutritionist and depending on the type of training they are involved in, may need more carbohydrates before, during and after a session, in order to maintain optimal levels, replenish energy reserves and avoid early fatigue. So, if you train intensely in the evening, take carbohydrates before bed it may be indispensable.

What are the best carbs to eat at night

For all these reasons, it is therefore wrong to argue that eating carbohydrates before sleeping is always bad for you. It is fundamental, however, do not overdo it with harmful foods but focus on quality carbohydrates, to avoid digestion problems and weight gain.

The ideal is to choose them in combination with lean proteins or healthy fatsin order to provide constant energy to the body during the night.

Here are some examples of snacks healthy nights:

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