Eating at night doesn’t have to make you fat. In fact, new research suggests potential benefits, including bigger muscles and a cranked-up metabolism:
1. More Muscle
In research published last year in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, scientists in the Netherlands discovered that consuming casein (the dominating protein in milk) after an evening workout but 30 minutes before sleep increased protein synthesis in men.
(If that doesn’t help pump up your guns, try one of these 5 Easy Steps to Reveal More Muscle.)
2. Faster Metabolism
A study from Florida State University found that when fit men eat a modest (150-calorie) nighttime snack consisting of protein or carbohydrates, they have a higher resting metabolic rate in the morning than when they consume nothing at all before bed.
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3. Less Hunger
Having a snack before bed may leave you less hungry in the morning and improve satiety between meals the next day, according to research from Florida State University. The type of food didn’t matter, but emphasizing protein is smart because it helps you build muscle.
(You are what you eat—know The Truth About Protein.)
4. Lower Weight
Having Seinfeld’s favorite food—cereal—may be an ideal way to end the day. In a Wayne State University study, people who ate cereal before bed lost roughly 2 pounds in 4 weeks, while people who didn’t have the cereal lost about a half pound.
(Not all cereal is created equal—Avoid these 9 Natural Cereals That Aren’t.)