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Foods to Eat After a Late-Night Workout

Sometimes your only opportunity to exercise is later in the evening, which can make it more difficult to fall asleep.

However, there are certain foods you can eat to help curb that post-workout sleeplessness — and, if they’re high-protein, they might even help you build muscle, too!


Oatmeal

Oatmeal offers many health benefits, including weight loss, lower blood sugar and reduced risk of heart disease. It’s also one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. But, for our purposes, oatmeal is high in healthy carbs (wave goodbye to all that cortisol!) and is a known source of melatonin.



Try adding some banana slices to your oatmeal for a dose of magnesium, and stir in some high-protein nut butter to help your body build those muscles!


Quinoa

As a healthy, complex carbohydrate, quinoa can help lower cortisol levels and give you a better night’s sleep. It’s also a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids, which can help with muscle recovery while you sleep. Yet another reason why quinoa is the best!



Prepare a small quinoa bowl with other great post-workout foods, like roasted sweet potato for complex carbs, salmon or tuna for protein, and avocado for healthy fats.


Yogurt

Natural and Greek yoghurt are full of probiotics – the friendly bacteria that help digestion, perfect for eating before bed. They're also brimming with calcium and are a source of casein protein.


Most dairy-based foods are a good source of tryptophan, an amino acid that your body uses to produce serotonin and melatonin, which both help induce sleepiness. You may also want to add some healthy carbs, like granola or flaxseed, to your yogurt since combining complex carbohydrates with protein helps you get the most out of all that tryptophan.


Almonds

Don’t let their small size fool you: almonds deliver a massive amount of nutrients. High in healthy fats, protein, and fiber, they’re a great snack option after any workout, late-night or not.


But for you late-night exercisers, almonds are also an excellent source of both melatonin and magnesium. Melatonin, as you may know, is the hormone that regulates your internal clock and helps you fall asleep. Magnesium, on the other hand, can improve overall sleep quality by reducing inflammation. It may also help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which interrupts sleep.


Turkey

Turkey is another food that’s high in tryptophan, so a slice or two after your late-night workout can help boost your melatonin levels. And, if possible, go with roasted turkey slices — with 8 grams of protein per ounce, it’s yet another sleep-friendly food that helps with muscle recovery.




These are some of our favourite foods to eat after a late-night workout not only because they help ease your body into sleepiness, but also because they’re high in protein for overnight muscle repair. That said, these certainly aren’t the only post-workout foods that also help with sleep — anything with protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates will do. The foods you should skip? Sugary snacks and treats, heavy meals, and alcohol.

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