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What are some options for late night snacks?
When you get that late night hunger, it’s beneficial to opt for something with protein and/or fiber to help increase satiety and provide nutrients. If you go to sleep hungry you may feel that sleep is not as restful, however, having a larger meal late at night may keep you awake because your body is trying to digest it.
Here are some good examples to try:
- High fiber cereal with milk
- String cheese or other cheese snack like Laughing Cow or Babybell (can pair with whole grain crackers)
- Banana or whole wheat toast with peanut butter
- Fruit and nuts
- Turkey slices on whole wheat bread or crackers
- Greek yogurt with granola or fruit
- Cottage cheese and fruit/veggies
Why does the body want to eat after drinking alcohol?
There are a couple of mechanisms as to why we may seem hungrier and more likely to eat more than usual after a night of drinking:
- Dehydration: Alcohol works as a diuretic causing us to urinate more. If we don’t replace those fluids we end up feeling thirsty. Unfortunately, our body commonly confuses thirst for hunger; increasing our appetite. If those fluids are never replaced with water, the “hunger” persists.
- Alcohol also temporarily decreases blood sugar levels. As a result the body tries to compensate and readjust blood glucose levels causing us to feel hungry.
- The liver is working hard to remove alcohol from our system, which in turn causes the liver not to make as much energy for the rest of the body. The next morning our body directs us to eat as much calories as possible to “replenish” that energy.
What to do?
- Eat a meal or snack before you drink to slow the absorption of alcohol and protect your organs from the affects of alcohol
- Try to eat a nutritious breakfast in the morning and regular nutrition meals during the day and drink plenty of water, while consuming alcohol, before bed and as soon as you wake up.
What’s a helpful snack to have after working out?
A snack provides carbohydrates and protein. Both are very important to refuel the muscle of depleted energy stores. Pairing a carbohydrate and protein together helps increase the absorption of protein and it replenishes our glycogen stores.
These snacks should be consumed as soon as possible after a workout as this is the greatest time to provide necessary nutrients. Muscles can be thought of as sponges after exercise and will absorb glucose and amino acids from carbohydrates and protein very readily.
Here are some examples:
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Trail mix
- Milk and cereal
- Greek yogurt & granola
- Whole wheat toast & peanut butter
- Fruit & nut butter
- Eggs & whole wheat toast
- Oatmeal & nut butter
What’s a nutritious breakfast to eat on-the-go?
Breakfast is the best way to start your day. Although we may not always feel hungry in the morning, especially after eating late at night, it is important to eat a little something within 2 hours of waking up. It provides your body with the fuel to start the day.
We can be in such a rush in the morning that it is possible to forget to have something to eat. Try some of these quick options that take less than 5 minutes to prepare!
Here are some options to try:
- Oatmeal topped with fresh, dried, or frozen fruit
- Yogurt with fruit or granola
- A bowl of cereal with milk and fruit
- A banana with peanut butter
- English muffin, toast, or a tortilla topped with peanut butter and a piece of fruit
- Blend a breakfast smoothie with milk or yogurt and frozen fruit