I love to snack before I go to bed. I usually eat about two cups of cereal (raisin bran, cheerios, fruit loops, etc.) and a cup or two of raisins. I don't ever eat junk food, but I heard that eating carb's late at night is not good. I am a college runner so I am not on a diet and need food, but sometimes I feel like eating so late is not good. What do you think?
Originally posted by Running Queen: I love to snack before I go to bed. I usually eat about two cups of cereal (raisin bran, cheerios, fruit loops, etc.) and a cup or two of raisins. I don't ever eat junk food, but I heard that eating carb's late at night is not good. I am a college runner so I am not on a diet and need food, but sometimes I feel like eating so late is not good. What do you think?
Your right! Eating within 4 hours of going to bed is not good for you. Specifically, sugar (and you are eating lots of it with cereal) stops your body's production of growth hormone. 90% of growth hormone is produced within the first 2 hours of sleep and sugar stops that production for the night. Growth hormone is not just responsible for making you grow. It is now known that long term low GH results in belly fast deposits, low muscle repair, bone loss (ultimately osteoporosis in women), fatigue, memory disfunction, joint and muscle pains, decreased flexibility, and early aging. These problems start slowly and are not easily reversed once you damage your GH output. So, give up the sugar at night, stick to proteins or nothing at all is best.
It seems to me that it has also been shown that over training can also cause low GH and ultimately muscle tears and low repair rates especially in women. So train smart!
For someone like yourself you exercises a lot, nutrution is especially important. Myself being a runner, I avoid all sugary foods. Fruit loops, in particular, are filled with sugar. In processed foods sugar is "hidden" and given different names. You'll have to read the labels and learn more about it.
There are so many opinions on what's best for a healthy diet, but for me, I avoid processed foods. It's tough to do, in our society of fast foods etc. But, it's something that we have to work at. It took me years to finally stop eating cereals out of a box. I now make my own natural multi-grain cereal (grind the seeds, mix with water and simmer for 25 minutes or so). I also started eating millet. Fresh vegetables and fruit are part of my diet too. For me, I found that I could not eat too much meat, so I substitute eggs in my diet. For others, they include lots of meat in their dietary regimen. I think it's a matter of choice, what bests fits you. But I think there is a consensus by a lot of us to avoid processed foods that have tons of sugar.
To expand this subject a little further: Sugar in itself, I don't believe is bad in small amounts, but this processed sugar does not provide nutrients, only calories. In one of my healthfood books, I read that a way to kill ants is to leave out sugar around your house. The ants will take the sugar to their nests, consume it, providing them stores of energy, but eventually will die because they aren't getting any other food values. I don't know if this is true, and I haven't experimented with this, but that is what I read. But with what I know about sugar, it kind of makes sense to me.
By the way, I think that's wonderful that you do all that running. You must be a dedicated person to do that. I'm sure that, in time, you'll spend some time learning about nutrition too. I think that you'll find it interesting and find that your overall health and ability to exercise will improve. Keep up the good work!!!
Also I should mention, that I think eating a small amounts of (healthy - low sugar) carbs late at night just before you sleep is OK, in my opinion. I believe that they are easy to digest. Hard-to-digest foods, taken late at night, are another story.
I think that your body will tell you what's best. If the carbs help you sleep, and you feel fine, it's probably OK. But if you have a large meal with lots of spicy meats etc.... Well, we all know that we can't sleep well with all of that.
I think most nutritionists, although, will recommend eating more during the day, rather than late at night. Having a healthy portion of food in the morning and during the day is best. But being a runner, like you, I know that it is sometimes depends on your running schedule. Sometimes I get hunger cravings that are so very strong that it hurts. So in that case, I eat "whenever". If it is late at night, I pick easy-to-digest foods. For that reason, I also always carry food with me (like on trips etc.). I often snack with these healthy foods during the day.
As a fellow runner I will say I eat when I want to or need to. That includes late at night. If you don't have a weight problem and you don't eat sugar stuff (cut out the Fruit loops), then I don't believe there's a problem. I run in the early morning so if I'm not carbed up at night I don't perform in the morning.
Of course late at night is all relative. I get up at 4:30 to run so go to bed at 8:30 often. But I still have dinner at 7 or 8 o'clock some nights. And virtually go to be straight after.