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By Team ON 3 years ago 16723 Views No comments

Night time nutrition

In our last installment of advice on eating to gain muscle mass during pre-season, Saracens nutritionist George Morgan addresses night time nutrition.

The pre-bed snack is the most common weakest link in an athlete’s regime. It’s often too light, too heavy on carbs, or non-existent. If you are training hard, eating a protein meal in regularly-spaced even portions could be the key to pushing your lean mass gains to the next level.

This was demonstrated in a study by Snjiders et al in 2015 where trained men fed 27.5g of casein protein before bed over a 12-week training programme demonstrated increases in total strength, muscle growth and type 2 muscle fibre size when compared to a non-calorific placebo. Optimum Nutrition’s Gold Standard 100% Casein is ideal to at this time of the day.

Getting your snack right

Again I would recommend to the players they try to use complete protein sources. Examples include a medium-sized chicken breast on a skewer with rice cakes and cottage cheese, or a large packet (50g) of Biltong with a glass of milk, or an Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard 100% Casein shake (1-2 scoops) made with 300ml milk or water.

If you are looking to increase your total mass you may wish to include a fat source like avocado, organic almond butter or whole milk to your pre-bed snack to increase the net calorie intake.

Pre-season nutrition in a nutshell:

Building muscle, becoming stronger, more flexible and more functional will be dictated largely by the quality of your training. To maximise your responses to training:

• Prioritise your protein intake across your day, especially post training and an hour before bed.

• Plan your carbohydrate intake to reflect your daily activities. Prioritise fast-releasing carb foods post intense training and low GI slow-releasing carbs in periods of lower activity.

• Keep healthy and include a variety of colourful fruits and veggies with your meals and snacks.

• Get to bed at a good hour to allow for maximal hormone releases and potential muscle recovery at night time.

Go to Saracens/ON blog for more from Saracens Nutritionist George Morgan:

You can follow George on Twitter: @morgangmr.