Should You Eat Peanut Butter Before Bed? Discover the Benefits (and Risks)

Peanut butter is an all-time favorite snack for many people, including bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts.

It is high in protein and therefore accelerates muscle growth. A two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter has around 8 grams of protein, making it a great option for people looking to build more muscle mass.

Moreover, it contains a variety of healthy, heart-friendly fats that provide multiple health benefits. Lastly, peanut butter is a highly versatile snack. It can be used as a spread, mixed with smoothies, and even consumed alone.

Keeping that in mind, a lot of people know that peanut butter might be healthy for them. But have you ever been told that eating peanut butter before bed can actually provide you with a bunch of health-related benefits?

If so, you might be wondering if the claim is true or just a myth. In this article, we’ll find out exactly that!

Should You Eat Peanut Butter Before Bed

Does Eating Peanut Butter Before Bed Help Gain Weight?

Peanut butter is a calorie-dense food that is packed with protein and healthy fats. So, its consumption will naturally allow you to gain some amount of weight. However, this will also depend on other aspects of your lifestyle, such as your dietary habits, activity level, metabolic rates, and so on.

A two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter (around 32 grams) contains around 204 calories and 16 grams of fat, a high amount for a snack so minuscule in quantity. Eating a lot of peanut butter, therefore, will likely cause you to gain weight.

If you end your day with a calorie surplus, you’re bound to put on some extra weight. The same is the case with peanut butter.

There are no studies or research indicating that the time at which you eat peanut butter can directly impact your weight loss or weight gain trajectory.

If you want to have healthy weight gain, having peanut butter along with your meals is the best option because of its calorie-dense nature. You can have it as a pre-bedtime snack (in small quantities) to increase your daily calorie intake and amplify the weight gain process.

Can I Eat Peanut Butter at Night for Weight Loss?

Eating large amounts of peanut butter will definitely cause a lot of weight gain. However, many studies actually indicate that regular consumption of nuts among bodybuilders is often associated with lower body weights.

Why is that the case?

Because consuming peanut butter in moderation is mostly associated with healthy habits. People who consume healthy nuts and nutritious snacks like peanut butter are more likely to engage in strenuous physical activity regularly and keep track of their dietary patterns.

That is why peanut butter can be an effective contributor to both – losing as well as gaining weight. It entirely depends on what you do and eat during the rest of the day.

But if you have a fairly healthy schedule, a spoonful of peanut butter before bed might be beneficial for your weight-loss goals.

According to a peer-reviewed study, consuming small amounts of protein before going to bed can lead to increased metabolism the next day. So your body will be able to burn excess calories quicker.

Another study conducted indicated that a protein-dense meal (that is small in quantity) before bed can accelerate muscle protein synthesis while you are sleeping and may result in a feeling of fullness, preventing cravings for unhealthy snacks.

Eating peanut butter, a protein-rich snack, in small amounts before bed can, therefore, help you lose weight in the long run as well.

Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Peanut Butter Before Bed?

Why Do Bodybuilders Eat Peanut Butter Before Bed

A protein-based snack combined with carbs, healthy fats, and fibers can help your body regulate nutrient availability and facilitate growth even when you are sleeping.

That is why bodybuilders are often looking for healthy, non-complicated snacks to munch on as pre-bedtime meals.

Nuts and fruits can be effective options. 

Apart from offering a good amount of protein, peanut butter also acts as a great source of essential vitamins and nutrients, including niacin, magnesium, heart-healthy fats, vitamin B6, and vitamin E.

Because of this impressive nutrient profile, peanut butter serves as a great option for bodybuilders. Depending on their fitness goals, you’ll see many people mixing peanut butter in their protein shakes or consuming it with milk right before sleeping.

Doing so can help them wake up with increased metabolism and energy, as indicated by several studies. Moreover, peanuts also contain tryptophan, an amino acid that is essential for regulating the quality of sleep.

So, pre-bedtime consumption of peanut butter will likely elevate the quality of your sleep, which can enhance your muscle protein synthesis and improve your lifestyle as well.

9 Benefits of Eating Peanut Butter Before Bed

Benefits of Eating Peanut Butter Before Bed

You can enjoy various health-related benefits if you decide to eat peanut butter at night on a regular basis.

Some of them are:

Helps in Weight Gain or Weight Loss

Eating peanut butter can aid your weight loss or weight gain journey, depending on various other factors like your metabolism, daily physical activity levels, dietary habits, and so on.

If you’re looking to gain some healthy weight, eating some amount of peanut butter is a great option. It is rich in protein, has a great nutrient profile, and packs a ton of calories even in small servings. Moreover, peanut butter has about 80% unsaturated fat and only 20% saturated fat, making it a quite healthy snack.

Mixing it up with protein shakes might help you increase your overall calorie intake and gain some weight.

On the other hand, if you want to lose weight, peanut butter can still help. Eating it in small amounts as a pre-bedtime snack can do wonders. Firstly, multiple studies have indicated that eating a protein-rich snack before going to sleep can increase your metabolism the following day.

This will allow your body to burn fats faster and help you lose weight quickly. Moreover, the healthy composition of protein and fibers present in a simple serving of peanut butter can also help your muscle protein synthesis a lot.

So, if you supplement your peanut butter consumption with a healthy dietary pattern and engage in recommended levels of physical activity each day, you’re bound to lose some weight.

Helps Improve the Quality of Sleep

Many studies have proven that peanuts are packed with tryptophans, an essential amino acid that can improve your quality of sleep and even help you battle insomnia.

The presence of tryptophans will also help your bodies release hormones that are essential for sleeping, like serotonin and melatonin. The feel-good hormones not only improve your quality of sleep but also curb symptoms like anxiety which may lead to insomnia in some cases.

When your body is sleeping, your muscles get repaired, as that is the time when the growth hormone is released. So, a state of deep sleep is definitely a good thing for your overall well-being as well as your fitness goals.

Reduces Late Night Cravings

Cravings can lead to a lot of complications. They compel people to engage in unhealthy dietary habits.

Peanut butter is a good solution to avoid this problem. According to a study, consuming protein-rich snacks can regulate your appetite and give you the feeling of fullness. Naturally, eating moderated servings of peanut butter before bed will make you averse to unhealthy cravings.

Improves Metabolism While Sleeping

According to a study conducted by Purdue University specialists, eating peanuts will stimulate and improve your metabolic rate as you go to sleep.

The sample study showed that resting energy expenditure could be improved by as much as 11% after 19 straight weeks of eating peanuts as a nightly snack.

Good for Digestion

Peanut butter has a pretty good nutrient profile. In addition to the healthy fats and protein content, it also contains fiber which can help you with digestion, keep your gut healthy, and prevent constipation.

Eating peanut butter regularly before bed, therefore, can be a good thing for your stomach.

Good for Energy

When you are sleeping, your body is still burning calories in the form of energy. That is because cell reparation, digestion, and other bodily functions do not automatically pause when you pass out.

Eating peanut butter before going to bed can give your body a little extra help in carrying out these processes.

Maintains Blood Sugar Levels

Peanut butter contains potassium and magnesium. These two elements can help you keep your blood sugar levels in check.

If you are buying a high-quality jar of peanut butter from a reputable brand, you’ll find that it has no added sugar. So, it’s good even for people suffering from diabetes.

Helps Build Muscle

People who consume healthy amounts of protein before bed show better muscle recovery outcomes.

Thus, we can deduce that having a protein-rich snack like peanut butter before going to bed can improve overall muscle protein synthesis and help you get better gains.

Good for Heart

According to a study conducted by the American Association of Diabetes, it was concluded that eating peanut butter as a regular part of your diet can improve blood lipid profiles and help with weight management.

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4 Disadvantages of Eating Peanut Butter Before Bed

Disadvantages of Eating Peanut Butter Before Bed

Despite the numerous benefits of eating peanut butter before bed, there are some shortcomings to this as well.

Let’s talk about them:

May Disrupt Sleep

While peanut butter is shown to increase the quality of your sleep and help you fight diseases like insomnia, it’s not always the case.

If you consume a lot of peanut butter right before you hit the bed, your sleep cycle might be disrupted. This is because your body will continue to work to digest it when you’re trying to fall asleep.

Ultimately, this will cost you a good night’s rest.

May Cause Heartburn

Some modern peanut butter brands have high amounts of acid in their products. This can lead to irritation on the lining of your esophagus, ultimately causing heartburn or acid reflux.

This is especially risky if you eat peanut butter right before sleeping, as immediately lying down may cause further complications.

Risk of Gaining Weight

Peanut butter is a calorie-dense snack. It’s easy to go overboard while eating it because of its delicious flavor.

As such, you might be punished in the form of massive weight gain caused due to the consumption of all those extra calories.

Risk of Allergy

You might get a reaction if you’re allergic to peanuts. This is especially risky if you’re consuming peanut butter right before going to bed.

Even if you don’t have any severe allergies, you might still face mild reactions like itchiness or hives on your body.

How Much Peanut Butter to Eat Before Bed?

While peanut butter is generally healthy, it can cause a lot of complications if you engage in overeating, especially before going to bed.

Generally, you should eat around two tablespoons of peanut butter as a pre-bedtime snack.

This comes to about 32 grams, 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, and around 8 grams of protein – the perfect macronutrient profile.

Anything more than this might lead to unexpected side effects and unhealthy weight gain.

Is it Good to Eat Peanut Butter Before Bed?

Yes, eating peanut butter before bed can give you a lot of health benefits. However, this is only true if you follow a healthy lifestyle to supplement your pre-bedtime snacks.

Moreover, you should eat only small servings of peanut butter before going to sleep to avoid any complications.

If you overeat, something as healthy as peanut butter can also lead to a lot of negative outcomes.

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Final Words

Peanut butter is undoubtedly the most versatile and healthy snack that can we can buy at the nearest supermarket.

While there are many benefits to eating a small serving of peanut butter as a pre-bedtime snack, one must remember to supplement it with a healthy lifestyle for the best results.