Cultivating and maintaining muscle isn’t always the easiest process. If this were true, everyone would be walking around with 21-inch biceps and a level of vascularity similar to a complex system of tree roots. With this being said, there are some easy tricks that can help anyone put his or her muscles in a good position to stay well-fed and ready to grow.
The world of athletic nutrition is full of polarized points of view. Some people love carbs, but others consider carbs enemy No. 1. While intermittent fasting may work for person A, person B may find that grazing on six or seven meals a day works best. It’s easy to find an approach to athletically-oriented nutrition that works for you, subscribe whole-heartedly to it, and denounce all other modes of eating as incorrect. There are some widely-accepted staples, though, like chicken and broccoli — you’d be hard-pressed to find a registered dietitian who would advise against eating a grilled boneless, skinless chicken breast and steamed broccoli. For the muscle-builders who love carbs and want to eat as cleanly as possible, rice or oats are time-tested fuel sources. These are the ways of the fitness and nutrition world.
One of these solidified fitness dieting tricks, an edict carved in stone many years ago by the founders of bodybuilding, is eating cottage cheese before bed. In an ever-vigilant state of muscle-minded thinking, many bodybuilders and athletes alike have incorporated a pre-bed meal of cottage cheese into their diets in order to provide their bodies (and, ultimately, their muscles) with a slowly digesting source of protein through the night. Even Pete Reed, the British oarsman with unparalleled lung capacity, swears by cottage cheese at night. Boiled down to not-so-scientific terms, the thought process here is that your body will go to the cottage cheese as fuel throughout the night instead of eating away at muscle during your evening-long fast.
With this thought process in mind, there are other ways to get your body to digest protein slowly throughout the night. By pairing a protein-rich food with a healthy fat, digestion will take longer than a meal with a blood-sugar-spiking, high glycemic index sugar. Sure, many people advocate that nutrient timing is completely irrelevant, but, for those who do believe, click ahead to see some of the best muscle-building bed time snacks.