Eating Carbs At Night – Good, Bad Or Does It Even Matter?

Carbs are horrible things that we should avoid at all costs right? Wrong. Nobody actually thinks that anymore since Dr. Atkins had a heart attack. But then at least we shouldn’t eat carbs at night right? Wrong again! There are actually huge benefits to eating carbs at night. Let’s take a look at what the real truth is, and why carbs aren’t our enemy at all.

It’s All About Insulin

Carbohydrates help our bodies create energy. Remember that time is a man-made invention and your body really doesn’t care what time your clock points to. If you need more energy at night – perhaps you are a shift worker, or perhaps you like to go out for a run at night – that is exactly the right time to eat carbs.

“But the truth is eating carbs does not make you fat. Your muscles rely on carbohydrates for fuel. Your body does not know when it suddenly becomes 6pm. In fact, for some people, it may be nighttime that more carbohydrates are required! If you work out at night time and don’t do any physical activity during the day, then this is you!”

Sleep Doesn’t Mean No Energy

The theory is that we sleep at night, meaning we don’t need energy. If we don’t need energy, we don’t need carbs either. So, logic would dictate that if we eat carbs at night – and then go to sleep – we will get fat. However, this is untrue, as demonstrated by recent scientific research.

“Energy expenditure decreased during the first half of sleep by around 35 percent. But, during the latter half of sleep, it significantly increased, associated with REM sleep.”

Interestingly enough, this is exactly in line with the resting metabolic rate, another figure that goes up and down during the day. Essentially, what research has proven is that the body’s metabolism actually increases when we are sleeping, with the exception of people who are obese. Hence, only the obese should avoid carbs at night.

But Doesn’t It Leave You Hungry?

One of the issues people have with eating carbs at night is that it leaves them feeling hungry. This is certainly true, but only for a short period of time. Unfortunately, this period (generally about one week) is too long for people to keep up with, meaning they give up on their new regime.

“Now if you transition from eating carbs every 2-3 hours to further apart for the first few days you may be hungry until your body has adjusted to using gluconeogenesis to maintain blood glucose rather than just eating carbs every 2-3 hours, but once you do adjust, you will find that you are far less hungry. […] These subjects were hungrier in the first week of the diet compared to 90 and 180 days into the diet where they were much more satiated.”

As always, it is a case of sticking to a new diet before you will see any results. But the results with eating carbs in this new way is something that will do you a great deal of good overall.