Protein before bed and compression socks

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.

I’m leaning heavily on one of my favorite blogs this week. Alex Hutchinson’s Sweat Science blog is always a good one. This week, two of my favorite reads came from there.

Protein before bed

We’ve known for some time that it’s best to spread your protein intake out across the day. Your body can only process around 20-25 grams at one time. If you take more, it doesn’t really do anything for you.

So, would getting an extra dose of protein right before bed be beneficial or do things change as we go to sleep?

We now have the answer.

More generally, think in terms of getting four to six distinct doses of protein throughout the day and evening.

To me, that’s the key. Is the timing of that before bed dose of protein significant? Probably not. The key is that it was an extra dose of protein spaced out from the others throughout the day. Whether it comes at bedtime, when you first wake up or some other time during the day probably doesn’t matter. What matters is that it does come.

Compression socks

Do you believe compression socks will help you recover? If so, good news. If not, bad news.

That’s what a recent study tells us.

So for the believers, there was a tiny (and non-significant) speed-up in the second trial, while the skeptics had a significant (and unsurprising) slow-down. The error bars here are +/- ~20 seconds, but the difference is still striking.

This was a test of two 5K time trials with an hour between the two. The question was whether wearing the compression socks between the trials would affect the second. As it turns out, those who believed the compression socks would help them ran about 3 seconds faster on the second time trial. Those who didn’t believe ran about 17-18 seconds slower on the second time trial.

While this result is within the margin of error so we can’t say this result is conclusive, that’s a pretty amazing spread.

That’s the likely power of the placebo. Our minds are amazing things.

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