Ep #2 The Importance of Sleep in Sport – Nutrient intake and sleep quality
How important is the actual food you eat on a daily basis when it comes to the amount of quality sleep you get each night? Chances are you’ve never asked yourself this question or even talked to someone else about it – because it didn’t seem important. What if we were to tell you that you could increase your sleep by 30% just by switching your rice to a different grain?
Who wouldn’t take advantage of more quality sleep just by eating great food. Although there are many factors that can contribute to insomnia, and lack of sleep, numerous studies have shown the relevance of barley grass on increased sleep.
Yup, thats right, switching your rice to a barley grass can help promote a great night sleep every night. This is because barley grass contains 63x more GABA Concentration, calcium and potassium.
What is GABA?
GABA is a neurotransmitter that works to block impulses between the nerves and the brain. Lower levels of GABA are linked to lack of sleep, anxiety, chronic pain and even epilepsy. Eating a diet that is high in GABA will not only enable you to feel better, but may promote a deeper sleep (plus, barley testes great).
What other foods can help me sleep?
A diet that is high in carbohydrates and relatively low in fat has been shown to promote the most effective remedy for insomnia and lack of sleep.
It is important to remember whenever eating a diet high in carbohydrates that you should always look to use low glycemic-index (GI) foods. Foods such as Jasmine rice are relatively high in the GI, whereas oatmeal, barley and quinoa have a relatively low GI response.
Switching away from traditional rice should be completed over the course of 2-3 weeks to allow your body time to adapt to different sources of glycogen for exercise.
When should I eat for optimal sleep?
Sleeping is a game of consistency. You will find that depending on the time you eat you may sleep more or less/ With that in mind getting into a natural cycle of waking up at the same time each day will lead to the best success.
As a general rule of thumb you should not eat meals over 200 calories prior to sleep (with the exception of high-protein foods to promote muscle protein synthesis).
At the end of the day increasing your sleep through diet is easier than you might think. Avoiding high-fat, processed foods is an obvious way to increase sleep. If you have goals to increase lean muscle, lose weight and effectively feel better each day then take your diet and sleep into your own hands.
Eat clean – sleep more.