Do: Eat protein frequently
Protein is essential for building muscle and encouraging muscle repair after a workout, especially if your workouts are intense. The bodies of athletes who train heavily five or six times per week are constantly in repair mode, so registered dietician and nutritional science PhD candidate Nanci S. Guest ensures her clients eat protein at 11 p.m. every night. “We don’t store protein, so not having anything after dinner may mean an athlete will miss opportunities to repair and build muscle, which they can only do when amino acids (the building blocks of protein) are in the blood stream,” she says. “Eating 25-35 grams of protein at 11 p.m. allows repair to occur until about 3 a.m. Then it’s only four or five hours until the next dose of protein.” If you plan on working out, ensure you’re getting that protein before bed so your muscles can repair while you sleep.