Sunday, 24 March 2013

The sleep smoothie

Leading on from my last post about sleep, It got me thinking over the weekend about a drink you could have before bed to induce sleep, prevent catabolism during the night and leave you feeling refreshed and recovered the following morning. Which in turn will speed up progress towards your fitness goals. Well, here's what I came up with: The sleep smoothie.....

What? Chocolate casein protein powder. How much? 30g scoop. Why? Casein protein generally has a very slow digestion speed, which makes it perfect to have before bed as it acts as a drip of amino acids to your muscles throughout the night.

What? Banana. How much? 1 medium sized. Why? A banana contains high levels of melatonin and serotonin which act as a neurotransmitter, calming your body into sleepy, relaxed state. In addition, they are also high in magnesium which can act as a muscle relaxant. And let's not forget chocolate and banana tastes amazing together!

What? Semi skimmed milk. How much? 300ml. Why? It creates the base of your smoothie. As well as containing high levels of casein protein, it also contains calcium, which works in the brain to help regulate the production of melatonin. 

What? Cottage cheese. How much? 3 heaped table spoons. Why? As well as thickening the mix up a bit, cottage cheese contains high levels of the amino acid tryptophan, which will naturally induce sleep in your body. It does this by helping to facilitate the production of serotonin. 

What? Peanut butter. How much? 1 tablespoon. Why? Healthy fats slow digestion down, keeping you fuller for longer. Perfect over night when you won't be eating for 8-9 hours! Peanuts are rich in niacin, which is another nutrient that helps release serotonin within the body. 

If you follow the ingredients and portion sizes as listed, the macronutrients of the shake will roughly look like this....

Kcal: 475kcal
Protein: 45g
Carbohydrates: 49g
Fats: 11g

I wouldn't recommend the smoothie every night, but rather if you've had a long, hard day and are in need of extra good nights sleep. Enjoy....