Nutrition Casein Protein Before Bed to Maximize Gains

casein protein

Often, they say that sleep is when the most recovery occurs. What if this was the longest period of time that your body was not receiving the optimal amount of nutrients and protein to enhance muscle growth?

How can you get the most out of your training with a simple addition to your daily nutrition plan?

By consuming 40 grams of Casein Protein 30 minutes before going to sleep, it’s that easy. 

Casein is primarily found in dairy products. So, a practical way to get it is to eat Greek yogurt with 40 grams of protein before bed. You could also buy Casein powder and mix it with milk or water; this method would be cheaper than the yogurt option.  Don’t take my word for it! See below for some of the results of research being done on pre-sleep protein consumption.

This is even more important if your training sessions are in the evening.  A study conducted by Abbot with professional soccer players who competed at night found the following:

Studies showed that a single dose of 20 to 30 g of protein after an evening exercise bout is not sufficient to elevate overnight MPS11,12 probably because MPS rates typically only remain elevated for 1 to 3 hours after a single protein feeding.10 To overcome this, studies have found that providing a large dose (≥40 g) of casein protein (CP) before sleep can augment overnight MPS. The benefits of this were best demonstrated in the study by Res et al12 in which participants were fed 20 g of protein after a bout of resistance exercise in the evening before ingesting 40 g of CP or a placebo 30 minutes before bed. The results indicated that CP improved overnight MPS by ∼22%, indicative of enhanced muscle remodeling following the exercise bout.12,13 These effects have been replicated in subsequent studies14–16 and suggest that perhaps by improving MPS, CP supplementation might enhance recovery when exercise is performed late in the evening or at nighttime. (p. 385)

Although no one reading this is going to run out and buy a nasogastric tube for their Casein consumption, Campbell’s work confirms other studies done that this works:

Recent work using protein-rich beverages 30 minutes prior to sleep and two hours after the last meal (dinner) has identified pre-sleep protein consumption/ingestion as advantageous to MPS, muscle recovery, and overall metabolism in both acute and long-term studies [110, 111]. Results from several investigations indicate that 30-40 g of casein protein ingested 30-min prior to sleep [112] or via nasogastric tubing [113] increased overnight MPS in both young and old men, respectively.(p. 8)


Campbell, B., Kreider, R. B., Ziegenfuss, T., La Bounty, P., Roberts, M., Burke, D., Landis, J., Lopez, H., & Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Protein and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4(1). 

Abbott, W., Brett, A., Cockburn, E., & Clifford, T. (n.d.). Presleep casein protein ingestion: Acceleration of functional recovery in professional soccer players. Human Kinetics. 

 OPOT – Optimal Performance Online Training

Comments are closed