Cottage cheese is a unique dairy product, in that it is low in carbohydrates and rich in protein. Like other types of dairy, cottage cheese is rich in fat, but reduced-fat versions are available. Eating cottage cheese before bed is a popular practice among bodybuilders and strength-training athletes, and it may have benefits for dieters, as well. While eating cottage cheese before bed can have benefits, your overall calorie intake makes a difference.
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If you're dieting, eating cottage cheese before bed can be helpful for controlling your appetite. This is because cottage cheese contains a type of protein called casein, which your body digests at a slower rate than other types of protein. According to research published in the March 2011 edition of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," casein is more filling than other types of protein, such as whey, a popular protein supplement. Because of the slow digestion and high level of satiety, cottage cheese may keep you from getting hungry during the night and encourage you to eat less in the morning.
Increased Growth Hormone Output
The types of foods you eat can affect your hormone levels, and this can greatly influence your body composition. Eating cottage cheese may be an optimal choice for maximizing growth hormone output, because it is rich in protein and has minimal carbohydrates. A study in the October 1968 issue of "Metabolism" found that consumption of protein alone promoted an increase in growth hormone levels, while pairing protein with carbohydrates inhibited growth hormone release. Increased levels of growth hormone can benefit dieters and those trying to gain muscle. The hormone can promote fat loss and muscle gain, according to research published in the June 2009 issue of "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism."
Improved Fat Loss
While high-protein diets are known to have benefits for fat and weight loss, the type of protein you consume can also have an effect on your results. Some research indicates that cottage cheese and other dairy proteins may be optimal. A study published in the July 2011 issue of "The Journal of Nutrition" found that increased dairy protein consumption was related to increased fat loss in women.
Increased Muscle Gain
Cottage cheese is rich in protein, which provides amino acids that your body uses to build muscle and other tissue. Cottage cheese may be preferable to other protein sources, as the women in the study published in "The Journal of Nutrition" experienced more muscle gain with dairy protein. Additionally, cottage cheese is rich in calcium, and increased intake of this mineral can promote testosterone levels, according to research published in the summer 2009 edition of "Biological Trace Element Research". Testosterone aids in muscle gain.
- "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Protein Choices Targeting Thermogenesis and Metabolism; K.J. Acheson et al.; March 2011
- "Metabolism"; Response of Plasma Insulin and Growth Hormone to Carbohydrate and Protein Feeding; J.A. Pallotta, P.J. Kennedy; October 1968
- "The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism"; Testosterone and Growth Hormone Improve Body Composition and Muscle Performance in Older Men; F.R. Sattler et al.; June 2009
- "The Journal of Nutrition"; Increased Consumption of Dairy Foods and Protein during Diet- and Exercise-Induced Weight Loss Promotes Fat Mass Loss and Lean Mass Gain in Overweight and Obese Premenopausal Women; A.R. Josse et al.; July 2011
- MyFitnessPal: Calories in Friendship Low Fat Cottage Cheese 1% Milkfat