Night nutrition for athletes: 7 tips

People who enjoy physical activity at night often hesitate between a large dinner or a lighter one. It is important to strike a balance.

Last update: February 18, 2022

Many people choose to train at night. Either because they have a busy routine during the day or by simple choice. no one is surprised to see runners occupying streets and parks until almost dinner time. However, after training at these times, good nighttime nutrition becomes essential for athletes.

It is that during the last meal of the day you must be careful with the amount of calories that are ingested. If the exercise required a certain demand, you have to eat well to replenish the nutrients. In turn, balance in portions is key.

Why is night feeding important in athletes?

After training, liver and muscle glycogen stores must be recovered. This is achieved by consuming carbohydrates. Although there are many recommendations that advise against its nocturnal intake, it will be necessary to incorporate them, especially if a demanding routine was practiced.

In addition, aspects such as good hydration and the appropriate intake of proteins, fruits and vegetables are essential. Getting a balanced diet in night feeding for athletes collaborates with muscle recovery.

Those looking to increase their muscles, such as bodybuilders, often focus on a high protein intake. However, all people who practice sports can benefit from its intake, even at night.

Nighttime eating tips for athletes

It is common for doubts to arise regarding food after evening training. While some people tend to stuff themselves to replenish nutrients, others choose to eat light so they don’t go to bed with a full stomach.

Athletes with heartburn should choose the timing of their nighttime meal wisely so as not to wake up with reflux.

1. Attention to portions

There is a belief that the more food you eat, the faster you recover from sports fatigue. But this only represents a myth, since the amounts must be fair and necessary. This advice extends to all meals of the day, including night feeding for athletes.

2. Carbohydrates in the right measure

It is important to eat carbohydrates after a demanding workout. It can be through pasta, bread or some form of potato. Although it is dinner, they are foods that replenish the nutrients used during physical activity.

In any case, it is convenient to pay special attention to the amounts, since an excess of carbohydrates can translate into an accumulation of fat. The intake of 1 gram per kilo of weight is suggested. That is, a person of 70 kilograms should incorporate up to 70 grams of carbohydrates during dinner.

3. Proteins in the nocturnal diet for athletes

Carbohydrates must be supplemented with protein. They are obtained through red meat, fish, eggs or yogurt, but also with the vegetable offer. For example, asparagus, spinach, artichokes, broccoli and avocado.

Proteins are important for the generation of essential chemicals in the body, such as various hormones and enzymes. In addition, they become transcendental in muscle recovery.

However, as with carbohydrates, it is advisable not to exceed the intake. About 30 or 40 grams of protein, at most, usually represent the right measure in the night diet for athletes.

4. Fruits and vegetables

In addition to protein calories and carbohydrates, present in many foods of daily consumption, fruits and vegetables should not be relegated. It is key to include them in night meals, especially after physical activity.

5. Digestive problems

For many people, digestion is a complex process overnight. Therefore, those who prefer to have a light dinner, but replenishing the nutrients consumed during exercise, should prioritize boiled foods. For example, potatoes, eggs, rice and some vegetables, which are more easily digested when cooked in hot water.

6. Give time to digestion

Maybe after training at night and having dinner, the clock shows a late hour. However, it is essential to leave a minimum space of an hour and a half before going to bed, so that the digestion of food is favored.

7. Hydration

Nutrients are not the only thing that needs to be replenished after exercising. It’s just as important drink water to replace fluids lost through sweating. Hydration provides the minerals that were consumed.

For this reason, you should always have a bottle of water nearby. Although it should not be ingested all at once, but spaced out and constantly.

Isotonic drinks are also recommended, especially after demanding workouts. What should be avoided at all costs is the consumption of soft drinks.

Isotonic drinks help recover minerals after strenuous exercise. Be these in the day or at night.

What can happen with an unbalanced night feeding in athletes?

It is likely that, if the necessary post-workout foods are not ingested, decrease athletic performance. Nutrition is an unforgettable aspect for anyone who plays sports.

Some recommended foods to incorporate into the night diet are the following:

  • boiled eggs
  • Salmon.
  • Tuna.
  • Vegetables.
  • Vegetables.
  • Quinoa.
  • Banana.
  • Oatmeal.

The snack before the night feeding for athletes

An aspect to take into account if you train at night is the snack. That is, the last meal eaten before physical activity.

It is advisable to include proteins and carbohydrates in this instance, to then train and have a lighter dinner. Also, breakfast the next morning has to be plentiful.

Although there are several options, it is always advisable to go to a nutritionist. In this way, a specialized diet can be obtained that makes the most of night training.

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