Yogurt is one of the healthiest snacks out there. It’s packed with nutrition and benefits for the digestive system. However, because it’s a probiotic food, many people are unsure if it can be eaten at night.
Plain or low-sugar yogurt can help keep you full and sleep longer, thanks to its rich protein and calcium content. However, individuals who are suffering from digestive problems such as acidity or acid reflux should avoid eating yogurt at night because it can impair the digestive system.
There are other considerations to think about if you want to eat yogurt at night. Read on below to learn more.
Table of Contents
- Eating Yogurt at Night
- Best Yogurt to Eat at Night
- Frequently Asked Questions
Eating Yogurt at Night
The type of food we eat throughout the day, and even at night, can work differently in our body.
The same goes for yogurt. It’s popularly eaten as a breakfast food or snack, though many people also eat yogurt at night because of its many health benefits.
Benefits of Eating Yogurt at Night
Here’s what may happen when eating yogurt before bed:
For people who tend to get hungry late at night, yogurt is a healthy alternative to other snacks and it can help keep you full. It’s a much better choice compared to eating junk food or sweets, and it’s also easier to digest. Yogurt, especially Greek yogurt, is rich in protein, which is beneficial for helping you feel satiated for longer periods of time thus reducing the chances that you’ll wake up hungry or have a difficult time going to sleep because of the urge to eat.
There have also been studies showing that eating yogurt at night can help decrease hunger the following morning. This makes it ideal for people who want to lose weight or fast for longer hours.
Yogurt, as well as any other foods made from milk, may contribute to better quality of sleep. That’s because the calcium contained in dairy is rich in tryptophan, which speeds up melatonin production, assisting in sleepiness and relaxation. This is the same reason why some people drink milk before bed, except that yogurt is a safer choice for those with lactose sensitivities.
In fact, many mothers feed their babies with some yogurt at night to help them sleep better. Just be sure that you are feeding your baby with plain high-probiotic yogurt that is low in sugar.
Is It Bad to Eat Yogurt at Night
Everyone processes food differently especially with dairy products including yogurt.
While most people can enjoy its benefits day or night, people who already suffer from digestive issues including acidity or acid reflux are better off avoiding eating yogurt at night. Doing so can worsen digestive issues or cause constipation, so they may be better off eating it during the day.
Eating yogurt before bed is healthy for most people, but it’s important to be selective about the type of yogurt you choose to eat.
Plain, unflavored yogurt is always best though many people prefer to add flavorings such as fruit. If you’re one of them, opt for low-sugar toppings or flavors, and stay away from commercially-made yogurt that contains over 15 grams of sugar in each serving. It’s always best to make your own.
Here are some low-sugar toppings you can add to yogurt:
Bananas in particular are a great addition to yogurt at night especially if you would like some extra help getting shut-eye. Bananas are rich in magnesium which can help you sleep better.
The reason why low-sugar yogurt is best at night is because eating anything with a high-sugar content, even on a healthy vehicle such as yogurt, can cause several health problems especially if this is a regular habit or if you are specifically prone to diabetes.
Eating sugary yogurt every night can lead to:
For these reasons, it’s important to choose the right kind of yogurt if you want to eat it before bed. If you are diabetic, there’s no problem eating unsweetened or Greek yogurt at night because it’s high in protein yet low in carbohydrates and sugar.
It’s also important to think about the time of night to eat yogurt. In order to enjoy the health benefits of the live bacteria or the probiotics contained in yogurt, it is recommended to consume yogurt during 1 up to 2 hours after your dinner. If you eat yogurt right after dinner (or any meal for that matter), the probiotics contained in yogurt will be significantly reduced since it’s exposed to stomach acids that increase during digestion of food.
Best Yogurt to Eat at Night
There are many healthy and low-calorie yogurt options out there that you can eat at night. Here are some examples on Amazon:
- Oikos Green Nonfat Plain Yogurt
- Chobani Greek Yogurt
- The Greek Gods Plain Greek Yogurt
Frequently Asked Questions
Will I gain weight if I eat yogurt before bed?
Calories don’t have a greater impact on your weight when you eat it at night compared to the day.
This means that you shouldn’t gain weight if you eat plain, unflavored, or low-sugar yogurt at night compared to earlier in the day, or any other small and light snack before bed. What matters more is if the yogurt fits into your day’s caloric needs, because eating anything that is above your caloric need for the day
However, if you eat yogurt too late at night frequently and it’s full of sweeteners, then this can cause you to gain weight. It’s important to be considerate of the kind of yogurt you eat before bed because plain, unflavored yogurt or Greek yogurt is rich in calcium and protein. These nutrients can help keep you full for a longer period of time and prevent the chances that you’ll wake up hungry or gain weight.
On the other hand, eating yogurt full of sweeteners before bed can cause weight gain.
Is it better to eat yogurt in the morning or at night?
Even though yogurt is a popular breakfast staple for many, the time of day that you eat it doesn’t really matter. What matters more is that you eat yogurt on an empty stomach because the live probiotics contained in it should reach the intestine without being exposed to stomach acids that increase in production during digestion. When this happens, yogurt is more effective in improving digestion and gut health.
For these reasons, it’s ideal to consume yogurt 1-2 hours after a meal.
Does yogurt make you sleepy?
Eating yogurt that has been made with sweeteners, lots of fruit, or sugar can cause you to be lethargic and sleepy after eating. This is because sugar decreases orexin cell activity after consumption, cells that are important for regulating wakefulness and other functions. It explains why some people get sleepy after the initial surge of energy following consumption of yogurt.
Another reason why yogurt can make you sleepy is because it’s a rich source of tryptophan even without the sugar, which increases the production of melatonin. If you’re after a good night’s rest, you can benefit from these properties by eating plain and unflavored yogurt before bed, an hour or two after your last meal.
Can eating yogurt at night make you fat?
Eating low-sugar and low-carbohydrate yogurt on a regular basis provides significant health benefits for your gut, which can even lead to weight loss when combined with a healthy diet and exercise routine. Yogurt is a rich source of calcium and protein, two nutrients that contribute to satiety. However, if you eat sugary yogurt frequently or add high-calorie toppings, then it can cause weight gain in the long run.