In today’s fitness industry, we are seeing many more Personal Trainers take their Level 3 Personal Trainer qualifications further to expand their skills into other areas of fitness. For Personal Trainers who have gone on to get their Level 3 Nutrition for Sports & Exercise Performance qualification to offer nutrition advice, the potential to make an even bigger impact with clients is growing.
Along with being able to suggest simple nutritional tips and tricks, those who have clients who want to focus on resistance training can help people build muscle and completely transform their figure. Although the potential to do this is huge, it is vital that you know how to stay within your professional limits as a Nutritional Advisor to make your tips and advice as safe as possible. With many people who choose resistance-based training doing so to build muscle, size and definition, it is well-known that Trainers/Nutrition Advisors can help them do this by focusing on a high protein diet and low-fat foods.
Now, new research has opened doors for Personal Trainers who want to use nutrition to help their clients build muscle and strength quickly. New research has shown that drinking a casein shake to increase protein intake just before going to sleep helps to increase muscle mass and strength when regular resistance training is done.
Lead Author of the study, Dr. Tim Snijders has said that “Several one-night studies have shown that pre-sleep protein intake increases muscle protein synthesis during overnight sleep in young adults”. This is hugely positive for those qualified to give nutritional advice, as they can now suggest consuming protein prior to sleep to help their clients get the best results they can from resistance training.
The study was carried out by putting 44 healthy young males on a 12-week lifting program; with 22 participants being given around 30g of casein pre-sleep and the other 22 being given an energy-free drink. Over the 12 week period, the researchers analysed the exercise performance and muscle size of each participant. Although both groups showed improvements in their strength and muscle size, those who were given the casein shake showed to improve their size and performance on a much larger scale.
Even though the study shows promise for those looking to improve their size and strength, researchers state that there needs to be more research into whether this difference in muscle progression is down to consuming protein pre-sleep, or whether it is just down to consuming more protein and calories in total.
Dr Snijders has said; “Based on our own studies, we calculated that a huge number of participants would be needed to prove whether a difference might exist in response to pre-sleep protein, versus protein intake at other times of the day.” Snijders concludes this after only one study has been done to look further into the relationship and only 26 people were analysed; meaning that there are currently no reliable stats to go off.
Snijder went on to say that sleep is filled with potential for those looking to build muscle, as consuming a good amount of protein before bed allows the body to release more amino acids during sleep, which is what you need for your muscles to repair and re-build. Although packing protein into your pre-sleep routine may seem positive, some people claim that doing this will lead to poor sleep and increased fat storage.
Dr Snijder tests this theory by stating; “In the 8-week morning vs. evening casein study, the additional consumption of protein calories did not result in an increase in fat mass despite the fact that exercise volume did not change.” Although the amount of participants analysed isn’t reliable enough to draw conclusions, this research definitely shows positive signs for pre-sleep protein intake.
Overall, the research that has been done is not reliable enough to influence the way Personal Trainers work with their clients when it comes to nutrition, but it does urge health and fitness professionals to take this research further and draw a reliable conclusion.
Although the relationship between pre-sleep protein and muscle health is still unclear, the future of nutritional advisers furthering resistance training results is promising. With more people choosing to focus on nutrition to look after their health, the room for Personal Trainers to become qualified nutritional Advisors and make a further impact on the health of the public is huge. If you’re looking to become qualified to give nutritional advice, take a look our Active IQ Level 3 in Nutrition for Sports & Exercise Performance to see where it can take you.