Casein Protein drink before bed?

During Podcast #187 Coach Chad talked about the importance of intaking sufficient protein particularly for older athletes (40+) of as much 2grams of protein per Kg of body weight. He also mentioned that we can’t digest protein in large quantities and later suggested (around the 47:30 time in the podcast) about the benefits of drinking casein protein before bed.

Any TR users of casein powder drinks before bed? How long have you been doing so? Have you sensed any benefits?

1 Like

I stopped using Casein protein after reading the “China Study” book. I much prefer to use Plant Based protein powder or at a push Whey protein.

1 Like

Thanks. Do you drink whey protein in the evening before bed? [I drink whey protein in my recovery drinks after workouts, but was intrigued about the slow digestion process of casein].

1 Like

It depends on what i’ve eaten and when I’ve eaten dinner before going to bed. I don’t see the point in consuming any sort of protein powder before going to bed if I already have plenty of protein currently being digested in my gut.


I have used casein based products (like protein desserts and protein hot chocolate) before bed, but I haven’t reordered since hearing a study that said the type of protein you take before bed makes no difference. I posted the link to that podcast in the thread for 187.

After hearing that it may help you sleep as well as provide protein from Chad, I did reconsider, but googling “casein” and “sleep” threw up loads of stuff from body building forums about it disrupting sleep, so I haven’t bothered. I have a good stock of whey, not sure I need more taking up space for questionable benefit.

fwiw, I normally mix my whey (including evening/ before bed), into 100g of zero or low fat greek yogurt rather than have it as a shake. The protein in greek yogurt is pretty much just casein, so I feel I’ve probably covered both bases!


i have 200g of cottage cheese with some honey + fruit pre bed every night and its awesome - it might be a placebo but as soon as i started doing it 3= years ago i felt better. Much cheaper than buying protein too and 200g will give you 20g of protein more or less.


I use whey regularly after WO and, for a better recovery, I supplement further the evening, always with whey, but dissolved in the milk: the milk should slow down the digestion for a greater assimilation.
in this way the recovery is faster


The podcast information was an eye-opener for me, as has this discussion about a maximum daily caloric deficit of ~250kcal.

One question I have, though, is what constitutes a “hard” workout – one that is hard enough to jump from ~1 g protein/kg body weight up to ~2g/kg? I’m in my late 50’s, so definitely masters territory.

Are the typical hour-long sweet-spot workouts hard enough to require doubling my protein? How about threshold? VO2 max? Is it worth fuelling on the bike for any of these workouts?

Basically what your doing with the introduction of milk with your whey protein is making it act like Casein protein with a slower breakdown.

I’m 46 and the second I step off the trainer I grab one of my mixers and get to shaking up 2 scoops of cheap GNC Gold Cookies and cream and 1/2 scoop of powdered peanut butter with 20 oz of milk. I dont have any issues with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and feel that I’m recovering well after each workout.

I’ve used a micellar casein powder fairly regularly over the last few months and tbh I have had a fair few disrupted nights sleep, I’d not heard of the supposed connection before but I’m wondering if that’s the reason. Will need to monitor more closely.

There are other Forum threads and podcasts that you may want to search for that address your questions about protein consumption and particularly about fueling.

In this thread I was trying to focus on taking casein protein before bed due to Coach Chad’s mention of it during the podcast. The verdict, so far, does not seem to be very positive.

I tried searching, and really don’t have time to sift through all the conversations.

1 Like

Ok. I’ll try to answer your questions . . .

That depends on your fitness base. I’m 61 and came into TR about 6 months ago with an average weekly TSS in the 600s so the prescribed workouts were too low so I did the +1, +2, etc versions to make them hard. My typical SS workouts are 1:30-2:30 and daily TSS from these workouts would increase from ~75 to ~125-175. I don’t count calories nor track grams of protein and carbs, but generally I estimate that I would increase consumption ~25-50% on these days as compared to non-intensity days.

For me, hard days leading to a 1.5x to 2x protein consumption would need to be outdoor rides where typical TSS ranges from 225 to 450. (50-100mi w/5k-10kft). If your training base is less, you could scale my #s back to estimate the additional protein you would consume based on a similar approach (i.e. what you are really comparing is how much additional stress you are putting on your muscles vs your normal training load to determine how much additional protein (and carbs) you would need.

Threshold and VO2 Max workouts wouldn’t change the approach. The key thing to recognize, though, is that the higher the intensity, the less the total TSS you will accumulate to get similar stress on your body (i.e. not all TSS are created equal). Perhaps a way of thinking about this is that 100 TSS of sweet spot might be the equivalent of 80-90 TSS of Threshold and 70-80 TSS of VO2Max.

Your body can store glycogen for approximately 60 minutes worth of hard intensity or 90 minutes of endurance. So If you have eaten a meal of sufficient protein and carbs 1-2 hours prior, water should be sufficient. But you could supplement these rides with energy gels/shots and electrolytes as needed (as I do). If you haven’t eaten, what I do is use powders that can be absorbed quickly (I use Hammer Nutrition’s Heed and Sustained Energy). I also supplement as above.

For longer rides, I use Hammer’s Perpetuem. Sometimes I will eat an energy bar, but these are converted into energy more slowly than powders so they should be consumed earlier in the workout.

I hope this helps.

1 Like

I know it was mentioned earlier in the thread but if I feel the need for an evening snack I try to make it cottage cheese. Often I’ll treat it as yoghurt and add some honey and fruit.

I’ve no real idea of specific benefits but it’s probably a decent food choice.


Thanks so much! That’s about what I was thinking, although I’ve discovered I probably haven’t been meeting my 1g/kg daily requirement.

As for Casein, I did a quick search on Google Scholar and found a couple of relevant articles. Sorry, I don’t have time to vet them completely, but the abstracts tell part of the story, anyway. Some evidence suggests casein aids muscle repair/recovery…

…though timing may not be especially critical…

…and it potentially aids sleep for stressed subjects (rats, anyway).

Most interesting, protein supplementation beyond 0.8g/kg for older people does not appear to be settled science quite yet:

Thanks for the links. I’ll take a look.

As mentioned, I don’t know what I’m actually consuming for #s. However, I monitor my training volume very closely (I use TP Premium and WKO4) and my eating volume pretty much correlates to it. For eating, I generally subscribe to Matt Fitzgerald’s philosophy in “The Endurance Diet” (great book) and make sure I am eating sufficient carbs and proteins. I find it pretty easy to do so as I snack frequently on hard workout days with hummus, peanut butter and/or almond butter, and Cheerios for their carbs :).

1 Like