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25.10.2020


Snacking in the evening comes at the expense of muscle and strength

The most illogical and counter-intuitive nutritional trick to build more muscle that we have encountered in scientific literature so far. We found it in an epidemiological study that Chinese researchers from Southeast University published in Risk Management and Healthcare Policy. According to this research, you build more muscle and strength if you stop snacking after dinner.


Snacking in the evening comes at the expense of muscle and strength


Study
The researchers studied a group of 2,000 adult Chinese aged 25-65. The study participants had told the researchers about their lifestyle habits, and the researchers had determined the study participants' strength by having them squeeze an dynamometer with their hands.

Results
There were two dietary factors that affected the muscle strength of the participants.

One was breakfast. Study participants who had breakfast had more muscle strength than the study participants who did not eat breakfast.

The other factor was snacking after the last meal of the day. Study participants who ate nothing at all after dinner had more muscle strength than study participants who did snack in the evening.

The figure below has been simplified. Click on it for a full version.


Snacking in the evening comes at the expense of muscle and strength

Snacking in the evening comes at the expense of muscle and strength


Mechanism
The researchers suspect that skipping breakfast costs muscle mass because breakfast supplies nutrients that the body needs for the building and maintenance of muscle mass.

Snacking in the evening ensures that you go to sleep with a full stomach. As a result, your body produces less ghrelin during your sleep. Ghrelin is a hormone that stimulates the production of growth hormone.

Source:
Risk Manag Healthc Policy. 2020 Aug 20;13:1245-52.

More:
The Ghrelin Dossiers | Eating less often makes it easier to exercise more 24.03.2020
The Ghrelin Dossiers | Chin-Shin Oolong Tea contains growth hormone booster 02.10.2015
The Ghrelin Dossiers | On a diet? Capsaicin keeps your testosterone level up 23.11.2012

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Nutrition & Strength Training


Night owl puts on weight faster than early bird Why nocturnal nosh-ups make you fat Consuming carbs at night doesn't make for better sport performance

Night owl puts on weight faster than early bird
People who go to bed late and get up late put on weight more easily than those who are early to bed and early to rise.

Why nocturnal nosh-ups make you fat
Animal study.

Consuming carbs at night doesn't make for better sport performance
But it will hamper the oxidation of fats.