What’s the scoop? Do you need to take casein before bed?

Should you consume casein before bed? Have you ever wondered what the current science says about casein? Find out more in this NextSet blog post.

Huw Williams
April 29, 2021

While you’ve likely heard the bro at your local gym preaching about how you need to take casein before bed (due to its slower acting nature), have you ever wondered whether that’s actually true?


Should you consume casein before bed?


Currently there is no concrete evidence to suggest that taking protein before bed is necessary to maximise your muscle gains, provided you have met your daily protein requirement.


This is what current research says:

1.    If you consume protein before you go to sleep, your body will digest it and use it to either build muscle or synthesise other proteins in your body.

2.    One study demonstrated that the process underlying muscle building was increased in people who consumed protein before sleeping, compared to those who did not. The caveat here is that the group consuming protein before bed also had a higher total protein intake during the day.

3.    Another study found that there was no difference in lean mass gains between groups who consumed casein in the morning compared to in the evening. In this study, both groups exceeded their daily protein needs. The key takeaway here is that the timing of casein consumption made no difference when sufficient protein was consumed during the day.

4.    If you exercise at night, and you consume a sufficient quantity of protein after you exercise, then taking more protein right before bed probably won’t make any difference for muscle (provided you’ve met your daily protein needs). This will be particularly true if your pre-bed protein feeding is less than 3 hours after your last protein serving. However having said that, it also won’t hurt.

5.    If you train during the day, don’t worry about consuming protein before you sleep – unless you haven’t met your daily protein needs.



Key takeaway – Do you need to take casein before bed?


It’s best to consider pre-sleep protein as a meal towards your overall daily protein intake. If you haven’t met your daily protein requirements during the day you could utilise pre-bed casein to reach these requirements.If you’ve already met your protein needs then save your money and skip the casein(Get to bed – sleep will make a bigger difference!) . Right now, based on the research to date, there is nothing magical about the timing of protein before bed.


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PMID: 22330017

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PMID: 28515842

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