Well, let’s start with the word BAD….food is not bad. It’s not good either, by the way.
Different foods do have different nutritional values though and if we’re talking about fuelling your performance, then I suppose you could ask yourself WHY are you eating snacks before bedtime?
- Are you particularly athletic in bed? Congrats if you are.
- Are you hungry? If yes, perhaps you didn’t eat enough in the day. Don’t go to bed hungry…you’ll have a horrible night’s sleep. So, first up, look at your consumption on a normal day: Are you eating enough at mealtimes? Secondly, if you do get to the stage where you’re hungry and it is just before bed, these might be some good snacks to have:
*Almonds & walnuts, which contain melatonin - the sleep-inducing hormone.
*Complex carbs like popcorn, porridge or whole-wheat crackers with some almond butter. Complex carbs won’t spike your bloody sugar levels like refined carbohydrates.
*Warm milk, or some warm porridge if you’re really starvers.
*Tart cherries, bananas, raspberries, kiwi, pineapple and orange - these all contain melatonin also.
- ARE you hungry? Or, is this a habit thing?? Try switching out the snack for a warm caffeine-free drink. Try not to take this as deprivation. Try to think of this positively….use your favourite mug, savour the warmth of it. If you sit there getting sad and thinking about what you’re NOT having, it’s never going to work long term. Eventually, your delicious evening beverage will become the new normal.
- Progress NOT perfection. If the above ain’t gonna cut it (yet), try switching out a snack that perhaps is not serving you late at night for something else that you will enjoy, or have less. A little digestive biscuit with your tea will serve you a whole lot better than a family-size share bag of chocolate buttons.
Ultimately, food is not wrong at any time of day. However, if your evening snack is not doing much for your sleep or your health, then it’s time to make some adjustments.