What if we told you that drinking a protein shake before bed could lead to a whole host of incredible health benefits while you snooze?

If you’ve read our article What Are the Benefits of a Protein Shake Before Bed?, you’ll already be aware that a protein shake before bed can deliver some seriously impressive benefits to your health and help towards your fitness goals. Whether your goal is muscle gain, weight loss, recomp (losing fat while building muscle) or even just improving your overall health; the many benefits of a pre-sleep protein shake will have you covered! Simply throw your ingredients into a blender, drink up and let the magic happen while you sleep!

Protein plays a vital role in stimulating the growth of new muscle, boosting metabolism (which can help towards weight loss), and tryptophan which helps to improve sleep quality and increase melatonin (often referred to as the ‘sleep hormone’) and serotonin (commonly referred to as a ‘happy hormone’), both known for positively affecting mood and sleep (1, 3).

Based on the studies discussed in the Protein Shake Before Bed article, the most optimal amount of protein before bed for maximum benefits is around 40g – this shake packs 43g! We wanted to ensure we ticked every box with this recipe, so we used casein protein because based on all of the available research, casein has been shown to be the most beneficial source of protein to take before bed to reap the most benefits! Worry not if you’re vegan or have intolerance’s, Soy protein is another good slow-digesting protein to ensure maximum results! 

Dairy products such as milk and yogurt contain both whey and casein, and are often hailed as one of the best sources of tryptophan, amongst meat/fish and other animal derived products. This being said, there are also many fantastic plant-based sources of tryptophan, including pumpkin and sunflower seeds, soy milk (and other soy products such as tofu), spinach and nuts! Here, we give you the option of using dairy milk and yogurt or you can opt for plant-based versions and simply swap this for soy/almond milk or soy/coconut yogurt. 

We combined delicious tart cherry juice with indulgent dark chocolate to create that inimitable Black Forest Gateau flavour! Tart cherry juice has some seriously impressive benefits, it has been shown to increase levels of melatonin (also known as the ‘sleep hormone’) and improve sleep quality and duration (2). Dark chocolate (70% cocoa or above) is also another sleep enhancing food as it increases levels of serotonin (often referred to as a ‘happy hormone’) which helps you to relax and improves sleep quality (4). We added our incredible Cacao Almond Butter to this recipe for a double dose of dreamy benefits, as almonds are another great source of melatonin. 

Ingredients: 

  • 150ml milk (or plant based milk such as almond or soy, both are good source of tryptophan) 
  • 1 tbsp TPW Cacao Almond Butter
  • 100g Fat Free Greek Yogurt
  • 50ml Tart Cherry Juice 
  • 1 scoop TPW Micellar Casein Protein, Chocolate Silk flavour 
  • 1 tsp TPW Zero Syrups, Choc Fudge flavour
  • 1 square (10g) dark chocolate, grated for topping (optional)
  • A few fresh cherries for topping (optional) 

Method: 

  1. Simply throw all ingredients in a blender, blitz until smooth and enjoy! 

Serves: 1 (large) shake

Nutrition per Serving –  kcal: 446, Protein: 43g, Carbs: 34g, Fat: 14g,

Reference List:

  1. Claustrat, B. & Leston, J.. (2015). Melatonin: Physiological effects in humans. Neurochirurgie. 61. 10.1016/j.neuchi.2015.03.002. 
  2. Howatson, Glyn & Bell, Phillip & Tallent, Jamie & Middleton, Benita & McHugh, Malachy & Ellis, Jason. (2011). Effect of tart cherry juice (Prunus cerasus) on melatonin levels and enhanced sleep quality. European journal of nutrition. 51. 10.1007/s00394-011-0263-7. 
  3. Lindseth, Glenda & Lindseth, Paul & Thompson, Mark. (2011). Nutritional Effects on Sleep. Western journal of nursing research. 35. 10.1177/0193945911416379.
  4. Meng, Xiao & Li, Ya & Li, Sha & Zhou, Yue & Gan, Ren-You & xu, Dongping & Li, Hua-Bin. (2017). Dietary Sources and Bioactivities of Melatonin. Nutrients. 9. 367. 10.3390/nu9040367. 
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Stephanie Yates

Stephanie Yates

Stephanie has a BSc in Food and Nutrition, paired with an extensive culinary background gained working as a chef and recipe developer for healthy eateries. With a passion for fitness and sports nutrition, Stephanie utilises her knowledge to deliver science-backed nutritional guidance and up-to-date, well-researched articles in this field. As a former chef, Stephanie has a wealth of experience in developing creative, healthy and delicious recipes to help people meet their nutritional needs and fitness/body goals.

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