Poor sleep is tied to weight gain, skewed hormones, next-day hunger, and blood sugar and insulin issues, says Bridget Murphy, registered dietician and nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center.
To score some quality sleep, you’ve got to be careful about what you drink before you crash. While you probably know that having caffeine and sugar too close to bedtime can mess with your sleep, other nutrients can actually help you build muscle, improve your blood sugar stability, and burn fat.
Here are five beverages to drink at night if you’re looking to lose weight:
A glass of milk (warm or not) can help you sleep more soundly, thanks to a healthy dose of tryptophan and calcium, says Murphy.
And more sleep means less next-day cravings. Milk’s casein protein is slow to digest, which could help you build muscle all night long, according to research from Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise.
The result: A faster metabolism and easier weight loss, says Murphy.
A small glass of 100 percent grape juice before bed may help you sleep and burn fat as you dream, says Murphy. Research published in Cell Reports suggests that insulin secretion at night (caused by consumption of simple carbs, like juice) regulates the body’s circadian rhythms.
And a 2015 International Journal of Obesity study found that an antioxidant contained in grapes, converts calorie-storing white fat into calorie-burning brown fat. It’s a one-two punch.
In case you’ve heard, yes, wine is also rich in resveratrol. Unfortunately, alcohol isn’t the best pre-bed drink. In one University of Melbourne study, sleepers who drank booze before bed exhibited nighttime brain wave patterns similar to people who received small electric shocks all night long.
A hot mug of this sleep-inducing tea increases your body’s levels of glycine, a neurotransmitter that relaxes your nerves and acts as a mild sedative. Another cool trait of chamomile: It spikes your core body temperature so that your system responds by drastically cooling itself, lulling you to sleep.
What’s more, chamomile has been linked to improved glucose control and can help you lose weight, says Murphy. Just make sure that any tea you drink before bed is caffeine-free.
Made from fermented milk, this probiotic-rich beverage works on your gut microbiome to increase levels of healthy bacteria, promote proper digestion, and help you to absorb vitamins and minerals more effectively, says Murphy.
Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine has also tied the yogurt-like beverage to improved sleep and better exercise performance.
Soy protein shake
Soy, in milk or protein powder form, is brimming with the amino acid tryptophan.
According to Birmingham University research, it can improve sleep quality by acting as a precursor to drowse-inducing melatonin, says Murphy. She notes that apart from helping you drift off, tryptophan also decreases cortisol levels to help fight belly fat and lose weight.
For the best benefits, include some Greek yoghurt in your protein shake. It’ll supply your muscles with a generous helping of casein protein for better post-workout recovery, she says.
This article was originally published on Men's Health.