There’s nothing wrong with settling in before bed and enjoying a healthy treat (preferably one that is low in calories and has some protein, like yogurt or an apple with nut butter).
But there’s one drink that many people associate with wind-down time that isn’t actually good for sleep — or your weight loss goals. This is the worst drink you can have before bed over 30 if you’re trying to lose weight, according to a nutritionist.
Contrary to popular belief, alcoholic drinks are one of the worst beverages for sleep, and while they won’t prevent you from losing weight, they can make the process of burning calories a lot more difficult.
For starters, there’s the fact that alcohol contains almost twice as many calories as protein and carbs.
According to Bodybuilding.com: “At seven calories per gram, alcohol supplies almost twice as many as protein and carbohydrates. In fact, alcohol has only two fewer calories than fat, which has nine per gram. It must also be remembered that the calories in alcohol lack the nutrients beneficial for a healthy metabolism and will therefore hasten fat storage.”
It’s not that alcohol completely prevents weight loss, but more like it puts a roadblock in that slows down your progress.
Diet expert Robert C. Atkins says: “Alcohol, whenever taken in, is the first fuel to burn. While that's going on, your body will not burn fat. This does not stop the weight loss, it simply postpones it, since the alcohol does not store as glycogen, and you immediately go back into ketosis/lipolysis after the alcohol is used up.”
Another problem with consuming alcohol, especially at night when there’s little time to burn it, is that it goes down easily, you lose track of how many calories you’re taking in — and a drink or two brings on cravings for foods that you might not ordinarily eat at night (like crackers, chips, and other refined carbs).
The best drinks to enjoy at night, in addition to herbal teas like chamomile and valerian root, are almond milk, coconut water, warm milk, or even a small cup of a banana smoothie — which provides magnesium that can aid in sleep.
Staying away from high-sugar alcoholic beverages is a good idea — for both your sleep, health, and weight loss goals.