Infinit Nutrition Canada - Premium Sport-Specific Nutrition

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fuel While you Sleep

I've been listening to some good podcasts lately while training indoors on stationary bikes while in Doha!  Guru Performance has a whole series of podcasts that are hosted by Laurent Bannock. He brings in an topic expert each time, which have included some researchers we have had the pleasure of working with; Dr. Leigh Breen, Dr. Stuart Phillips and Dr. Trent Stellingwerff.  Most of the podcasts are presented at a level that we can understand.  

A few months back, we were asked by a few CrossFit boxes to put together a sleep drink that would support muscle growth and repair during our longest period of fasting - while we sleep. Generally we understood the science behind the drink; the use of a combination of proteins fast digesting and slow digesting, high levels of growth hormone generated in REM sleep and the mere fact that this is the longest period of time we go without protein, 7-8 hours if we are decent sleepers.

In episode 67: Professor Luc van Loon - 'Protein Ingestion Before Sleep & Muscle Mass' he explains some of key facts. Some interesting learnings for me:
  • Muscle turnover rates are 1-2% per day. This means our muscles are naturally degrading and we need to rebuild them constantly.  Our arm muscles will completely be replaced in approximately 2 months.
  • As we age the muscle protein synthesis response is decreased, to stimulate the same response as we age we need to take a higher level of protein.  Simply for growth and repair of muscle protein after exercise we need more protein then we were younger.
  • Would should strive to stay in a positive protein balance if we wish to be stronger or increase lean muscle mass.  We must have more protein available than is naturally degraded from our muscles.
  • The length of a sleep cycle and the rate of muscle degradation typically results in a negative protein balance, unless slow digesting protein is digested prior to sleep.
  • Generally total protein amounts to be ingested by healthy active people should be between 1.2 - 1.6 g / kg of body weight / day.  Best that these are consumed in 4-5 feedings.
I encourage you to have a listen to this podcast and then see what works for you.  Your protein bolus or feeding can come from multiple sources; yogurt, cottage cheese, sports nutrition, etc. Find something that works for you if you are looking to optimize a key growth and recovery period; your sleep.

Sleep well!

Darcy Haggish, CEO Infinit Nutrition Canada