Late night snacking is never really a good idea, because your body doesn’t need extra energy before bed. Plus it doesn’t want to have to work on digesting food when it is supposed to be shutting down for the evening. But let’s face it, sometimes we just want something! So I thought I would share with you 5 of the worst late night snacking choices and just why you should avoid them!
Fatty Foods - Foods high in saturated fats will sit in your stomach for longer, which means that they are more likely to give you indigestion as well as interrupt your shut-eye time.
Spicey Foods - Even if you have an iron tummy and can handle your curry vindaloo style, it is a bad idea to eat spicy food late at night. Regardless of your spice tolerance in your mouth, your digestive system still has to deal with it, and spicy foods are known to cause digestive disturbances such as reflux and wind, so they are likely to prevent you from having a good night sleep.
Sugary Foods - Apart from the obvious fact that sugar will pump you full of energy, so it is likely to keep you buzzing after you have switched the light off, it will also provide your body with a hit of energy, that if not used will be stored. So as tempting as sweets can be in the evening, this is one to try and avoid.
Caffeinated Foods/Drinks - If you have caffeine late at night, your brain will be wired. Caffeine works by blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain and increasing adrenaline production. So even if you have had a physically draining day, consuming caffeine before bed will disrupt the quality of sleep you get.
Processed Carbohydrates - I try to avoid too many processed carbohydrates anyway, but even more so in the evening. The energy it takes to digest them will disrupt your sleep and the large amounts of energy will more than likely be stored as fat, because of lack of expenditure.
So what are better options you ask?
If you simply have to eat something, then lighter, fresh foods are always the best option. Interestingly enough many foods contain tryptophan which is an amino acid that actually stimulate serotonin production, which in turn helps promote a good night sleep. However as I mentioned before, too much sugar, fats, or food in general will counteract this.
I suggest you opt for a healthy protein source that is low in fats and sugars, such as some cottage cheese and seeds, hummus and snow peas, or low fat Greek style yogurt and blueberries! - But try to snack at least half an hour before bedtime so that you tummy has time to start digesting!