We all know that in order to maximize our gains in muscle size and strength, eating frequently throughout the day is incredibly important.
A well balanced muscle building meal consumed every 2-3 hours will keep the body in an anabolic state, raise the fat burning metabolism, stabilize energy levels and improve digestion all at the same time.
Maintaining this eating approach is simple throughout the waking hours of the day...
But when happens when we go to sleep at night?
Let's assume that we consume our last meal of the day one hour before heading to bed... sleep for 8 hours... and then have our breakfast half an hour after awakening…
That's a full 9.5 hours with absolutely zero muscle building nutrition!
If we place so much emphasis on consuming high quality, growth-supporting nutrients at frequent intervals during the day, why do we simply throw this logic out the window during the night?
Wouldn't it make sense to ensure that our muscles are receiving all of the protein, carbohydrates and fats that they require during the time period where muscle recuperation and growth is at its peak?
Why would we deliberately allow our body to enter into a starved, catabolic state for such an extended period of time if it is within our control to do something about it?
While this method may not be for everyone, consuming a properly balanced muscle building meal about mid-way through your sleep just might be one of the key ways to accelerate your bodybuilding progress to even higher levels.
It may seem like somewhat of a "hardcore" method that only the most obsessive of lifters would incorporate, but a quick examination of this approach and you'll see that it's quite realistic for the majority of people to implement.
Now first of all, this doesn't have to be a regular solid-food bodybuilding meal that you might typically consume during the day. I'm not talking about waking up and sitting at the kitchen table to eat a plate of chicken and potatoes or a steak with rice.
Eating solid foods in the middle of the night will probably disrupt your sleep quite a bit, and it isn't really a realistic long-term approach to carry out.
Instead, this meal should be in liquid form so that you can wake up, chug it back very quickly and easily, and then head right back to bed.
My recommendation is to mix 30-40 grams of whey protein (or any other high quality form of protein powder, such as casein or egg) with 1-2 cups of skim milk. This will provide you with a good shot of slow release protein without forcing you to be awake for long or worry about any unnecessary chewing or meal preparation.
You can also mix in a tablespoon of a healthy unsaturated oil source, such as flaxseed oil or extra virgin olive oil. This will further slow down the release of the shake and will provide your body with valuable essential fatty acids that are also critical to proper recovery and growth.
When is the best time to consume this shake?
Ideally I would aim to consume it about halfway through your sleep, but whenever you wake up naturally during the night is fine. I don't recommend forcing yourself out of bed with the use of an alarm clock, as this will disrupt your sleeping pattern and could leave you feeling fatigued the following day.
Now, is this middle-of-the-night-feeding method for everyone?
Of course not, but I would encourage you to try it out and see how it works. I've implemented this method both personally and with my clients and have found that in the majority of cases, the effects have been measurably positive.
After all, if you wake up naturally during the night to use the bathroom anyway, how hard could it really be to make a quick detour to the kitchen to drink a simple protein shake?
If you're looking for an extra boost to your nutritional program, then that one shake alone might be just what you need. A few hundred calories can sometimes make the difference between maintaining your weight and gaining it.
If you really want to get the most out of your muscle building nutrition plan, this is a method you should definitely try.
If you're interested in learning more highly effective natural bodybuilding strategies like this one, go ahead and right now. You can sign up for my free 8-part muscle building email course to help accelerate your gains even further.