Whey protein is a typical source of instant energy, especially after a strenuous workout. But the new study finds that taking these whey protein snacks at night can increase the blood sugar the next morning, even in healthy people. It means the risk is highest for a person who is already experiencing fluctuating blood sugar.
It is common to take protein snacks i.e. bars especially after exercising which are healthy and nutritious. But taking these bars at night is not good for health as it may increase the blood sugar level the next morning.
This new study is presented at The Physiological Society’s early career conference online, which was named “Future Physiology 2020”.
High blood sugar in the morning may not look like a problem in healthy people but it may be a problem for a person who is at risk of diabetes. If consistently used, this high sugar may result in heart diseases, hypertension, and obesity.
There is plenty of data to show that eating a snack before bed can elevate the sugar. That’s why, breakfast, which is the first meal of the day often increases the blood sugar unlike other meals of the day.
The purpose of this study was to investigate how protein intake at late night has an impact on sugar levels the next day. The sugar level was remarkably higher in people who ate whey protein snacks than those who drank water at 4 am, hours before breakfast.
This unexpected result may be helpful for those who are taking hold of their blood sugar. A possible reason for this outcome is that the human body doesn’t require much food at night. So when a person takes protein, the body changes it and forms sugar. It eventually leads to the body with more carbs than its requirement, in the morning. So the energy requirement is low and this unused sugar remains in the blood.
This study conducted by the University of Bath studied 15 health individuals; seven of them were male and eight were females. All of these participants consumed 300ml water at 4.am in the morning with or without 63 grams whey protein snacks. Then they slept again and woke up at 9 am.
They were provided with porridge in breakfast and their samples were obtained two hours later to check their blood sugar.
The same experiment was repeated after one week but with a different drink to be consumed. The purpose of this drink change was to confirm the effects of the body’s glucose response in the same routine and breakfast food as with whey protein snacks.
Eleanor Smith presented these study findings. She said that more detailed research will explain whether this thing is the same for everyone or not. This sugar imbalance should be specially studied in older people, obese people, and women who might have underlying health conditions which could be worsened with this fluctuating glucose.
It also needs an answer if these results are due to an untimely snack intake or the type of snack intake. There is no information on whether this sugar spike is due to the choice of protein or the odd time eating. More detailed trials can answer all these questions.