Cottage cheese could be a great healthy and weight-loss snaking option for those who have a habit of munching before bedtime.
According to a new study conducted by researchers from Florida State University, consuming 30g of protein about 30 minutes before bed may have a positive effect on muscle quality, metabolism, and overall health.
For the purpose of the study, the researchers gave an ounce (28 grams) of cottage cheese to ten active young women, who were in their early twenties, about 30-60 min before bedtime. The research team was specifically keen to find out if cottage cheese food would have an impact on the metabolic rate and muscle recovery and compare its effects on health with those of protein shakes.
When the women woke up the next morning, scientists measured how much energy they had burned while asleep. It was found that their bodies were just as efficient after cottage cheese as when they were given a protein shake to drink before going to bed. The researchers found that the high levels of protein in cottage cheese had improved their metabolic rate and muscle recovery equally as well.
“Until now, we presumed that whole food would act similarly to the data on supplemental protein, but we had no real evidence,” said study lead author Dr. Michael Ormsbee, of Florida State University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
“This is important because it adds to the body of literature that indicates that whole foods work just as well as protein supplementation, and it gives people options for presleep nutrition that go beyond powders and shaker bottles.”
Professor Ormsbee said the research team will next start examining more pre-sleep food options by carrying out longer-term studies to find the best choices for overall health, recovery from exercise and the repair and regeneration of muscle.
The research result was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.