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  1. #1
    Registered User okini's Avatar
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    Too much protein cause insomnia?

    Hello

    Im 18 years old have been going to the gym since mid december last year, so for about 1 and a half months. Ive been using whey protein powder. I have never been a good sleeper and have often experienced insomnia from time to time the last year and a half or so, but lately I suspect eating protein, especially protein powder to be causing it. ON days when I have consume about 3 scoops of protein powder even if its earlier in the day I have a really really hard time to fall asleep. I am tired as hell but my body just cant relax and fall asleep. My heart rate goes up really high and I end up toss and turn in bed literally all night without any sleep at all whatsoever. This really feels like god damn torture and I wonder if it is true that too much protein can cause this?. The last week ive been sleeping good but but on friday and yesterday ive been eating more protein than usual, 3 scoops of powder and also loads of almonds and some peanut butter and egg whites and things like that and ive not been able to sleep although im so god damn tired. It feels like my body is just all wired up but my brain is so tired. Somehow though it does not seem like protein bars cause me this problem. Often after the gym I eat a maxim 54% protein bar with over 42 grams of protein and on those days I dont have trouble falling asleep. It seems to happen mainly when I eat too much protein and especially from protein powder. Can this really be the cause? It seems like most other people dont experience this from protein powder since almost everyone who is working out uses it.
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  2. #2
    Registered User 1JFS3's Avatar
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    I highly doubt an increase in protein consumption will lead to lack of sleep. You could have stomach discomfort resulting in impaired sleep but it is not your brain responding to excess protein.
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  3. #3
    Registered User costahobo's Avatar
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    How's your fat intake? Protein isn't going to keep you awake; there's no stimulants in protein powder. Protein powder is basically powdered milk, with every thing removed except for the whey protein in it. Does milk itself keep you awake if you drink a lot of it?
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    Registered User BogusForLife's Avatar
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    It's a pretty safe bet it isn't the protein supplementation. I had a shake and protein bar last night (roughly 60 grams of protein) literally right before I went to bed and had a great night's sleep.

    Have you been incorporating a preworkout in your training since you started by any chance? Also, how close is your training time to when you typically go to bed?
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  5. #5
    Registered User okini's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by costahobo View Post
    How's your fat intake? Protein isn't going to keep you awake; there's no stimulants in protein powder. Protein powder is basically powdered milk, with every thing removed except for the whey protein in it. Does milk itself keep you awake if you drink a lot of it?
    no milk has no negative impact on my sleep
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  6. #6
    Registered User okini's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BogusForLife View Post
    It's a pretty safe bet it isn't the protein supplementation. I had a shake and protein bar last night (roughly 60 grams of protein) literally right before I went to bed and had a great night's sleep.

    Have you been incorporating a preworkout in your training since you started by any chance? Also, how close is your training time to when you typically go to bed?
    i usually have plenty of hours between my sleep an workout since this also can cause me insomnia however, yesterday I went to the gym between 3pm and 4 pm, or so and didn't go to bed until 1am so it can't have been the workout itself that kept me up all night this time
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  7. #7
    Registered User iris20's Avatar
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    High-protein foods affect the digestive process and sleep in a similar way to fatty foods.

    In addition, protein-rich foods release amino acids into the blood. When amino acids such as tyrosine flood the body, they are quickly used to synthesize stimulant such as the excitatory neurotransmitters, epinephrine and norepinephrine, and thermogenic thyroid hormones.

    Excitatory neurotransmitters keep the brain active and thyroid hormones increase the body’s metabolic rate. Both effects disrupt sleep.

    Furthermore, by suddenly increase the amount of amino acids in the body, high-protein foods reduce the amount of tryptophan reaching the brain.

    Tryptophan is the most important amino acid to the sleep process. It is used to synthesize niacin (a B vitamin), serotonin (a neurotransmitter) and melatonin (a hormone that regulates the circadian cycle), all of which promote sleep.

    Flooding the body with multiple amino acids reduce the odds of tryptophan crossing the blood-brain barrier. This is because it shares the same transport mechanism with some of the other amino acids.
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  8. #8
    Registered User detonat3's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by iris20 View Post
    High-protein foods affect the digestive process and sleep in a similar way to fatty foods.

    In addition, protein-rich foods release amino acids into the blood. When amino acids such as tyrosine flood the body, they are quickly used to synthesize stimulant such as the excitatory neurotransmitters, epinephrine and norepinephrine, and thermogenic thyroid hormones.

    Excitatory neurotransmitters keep the brain active and thyroid hormones increase the body’s metabolic rate. Both effects disrupt sleep.

    Furthermore, by suddenly increase the amount of amino acids in the body, high-protein foods reduce the amount of tryptophan reaching the brain.

    Tryptophan is the most important amino acid to the sleep process. It is used to synthesize niacin (a B vitamin), serotonin (a neurotransmitter) and melatonin (a hormone that regulates the circadian cycle), all of which promote sleep.

    Flooding the body with multiple amino acids reduce the odds of tryptophan crossing the blood-brain barrier. This is because it shares the same transport mechanism with some of the other amino acids.
    Thanks for this post, explains why I can't sleep!
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  9. #9
    Registered User JoeTinpan's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by iris20 View Post
    High-protein foods affect the digestive process and sleep in a similar way to fatty foods.

    In addition, protein-rich foods release amino acids into the blood. When amino acids such as tyrosine flood the body, they are quickly used to synthesize stimulant such as the excitatory neurotransmitters, epinephrine and norepinephrine, and thermogenic thyroid hormones.

    Excitatory neurotransmitters keep the brain active and thyroid hormones increase the body’s metabolic rate. Both effects disrupt sleep.

    Furthermore, by suddenly increase the amount of amino acids in the body, high-protein foods reduce the amount of tryptophan reaching the brain.

    Tryptophan is the most important amino acid to the sleep process. It is used to synthesize niacin (a B vitamin), serotonin (a neurotransmitter) and melatonin (a hormone that regulates the circadian cycle), all of which promote sleep.

    Flooding the body with multiple amino acids reduce the odds of tryptophan crossing the blood-brain barrier. This is because it shares the same transport mechanism with some of the other amino acids.
    I'm hearin what you're sayin, but how do you explain all of the people who take casein before bed? Isn't that basically the same thing? I used to take casein all the time before bed and never had an issue sleeping.
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  10. #10
    another day in paradise punksurfer024's Avatar
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    I wouldn't look at the protein unless you are having GI issues along side the insomnia. What else is in your diet/life that could cause? Stims, stress, sugars/carbs, etc?
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