When You Eat Peanut Butter Before Bed, This Is What Happens

What do you do when you're craving a midnight snack? Sometimes you're hungry before bed, but you don't want to eat anything that will adversely affect your sleep or make you gain weight. So, what should you snack on at night? Is there a snack that can help you sleep better and help you lose or maintain your weight? That sounds too good to be true, but peanut butter just might be that snack. 

According to Healthline, the studies are divided when it comes to late-night snacks and weight gain. Some say they can make you gain weight, while others say they don't. Other things like skipping breakfast, how long you sleep, and overall diet can impact whether or not eating before bed can make you gain weight. So, if you're otherwise healthy, and have a healthy, well-balanced diet, enjoying a late-night snack may not be bad for you at all. Even better — it could be good for you, mainly if you chose to enjoy a little peanut butter. So, what makes peanut butter a good midnight snack?

Benefits of peanut butter before bed

Eating peanut butter before bed can have some good health benefits. A 2015 study review looked at the effect of small, protein-rich snacks before bed in healthy men. The researchers found that these snacks can be beneficial for feeling full, morning metabolism, and overnight muscle synthesis. The men's snacks were about 150 calories. Natural peanut butter has 190 calories in two tablespoons, according to USDA FoodData Central. One and a half tablespoons of peanut butter would be about 142.5 calories, closer to the 150 calories in the study. 

According to Purple, peanut butter is high in tryptophan, which can help you burn calories while you sleep. Purple recommends spreading your peanut butter on half of a whole wheat bagel to satisfy your carb cravings, too. 

Well+Good recommends eating peanut butter with a banana before sleeping. Bananas are high in magnesium and potassium, which can help you relax. Also, mixing the banana with the tryptophan in peanut butter can help you drift away and enjoy a good night of rest. 

So, the next time you are craving something before bed, grab some peanut butter. The tryptophan can help you get to sleep, and the protein can help your metabolism and muscles. Eat This, Not That recommends eating the peanut butter with a slice of whole-grain toast, which contains B vitamins to help you absorb the tryptophan.