Drinking milk in the evening: health benefits and side effects

A ritual that many swear by when it’s dark outside is sipping a glass of milk before bed. Drinking milk in the evening has somehow become a timeless tradition synonymous with warmth and goodness. But it’s not a practice that just helps you feel calm. It also has health benefits. This is a place where science and tradition intertwine as several studies have shown that drinking milk before bed has positive effects. So, sit in your comfy spot and grab your favorite cup of milk full to find out why it is beneficial for you.

Drinking a cup of warm milk before bed is a timeless ritual for many, and science is shedding light on its potential benefits, says dietitian Deepali Sharma, a clinical nutritionist at CK Birla Hospital in New Delhi. Sharing more information with us, the expert highlights all the benefits of drinking milk in the evening.

Drinking milk in the evening can help you sleep better. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

What are the benefits of drinking milk in the evening?

Milk, along with other dairy products, appears to be a commendable source of tryptophan, an amino acid known for its sleep-promoting properties. Tryptophan serves as a precursor to the synthesis of melatonin and serotonin in the body. Melatonin, often called the “sleep hormone,” ensures that the sleep-wake cycle is controlled, ensuring a smooth transition into restful sleep. Serotonin, on the other hand, functions as a multifaceted neurotransmitter, contributing not only to mood regulation, but also playing a central role in appetite control, sleep modulation, and pain perception. . This symphony of molecules works together to induce a feeling of tranquility, gently guiding you toward a peaceful night’s sleep, explains Sharma.

Read also: Do you have trouble sleeping at night? Here are 7 foods to help you sleep better

The effects of tryptophan are not limited to regulating sleep. Your liver also uses the amino acid to make niacin, an essential component of the vitamin B3 complex. Niacin, in turn, contributes to energy metabolism and DNA synthesis, thereby nourishing essential bodily functions.

A study published in the journal BMC Geriatrics found that consuming milk or dairy products helps initiate sleep in older adults. A few other studies have also shown a positive effect of milk on sleep and how it can help you get a more restful night’s sleep. Although drinking warm milk can help you sleep better, it may not be suitable for everyone. Factors such as personal tolerance, dietary preferences and overall health should all be taken into account when considering when and how much to consume milk before bed, the expert adds.

Does drinking milk at night affect your weight?

Drinking milk in the evening is a good idea if you want to get restful sleep. but it may not be so good for people trying to lose weight. According to the dietitian, drinking milk in the evening can slow down the digestion process and affect liver function. This process impacts your body’s metabolic rate and can lead to fat deposition and weight gain. Regular consumption can also contribute to a significant increase in your daily calorie intake, which can increase your weight.

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Drinking milk in the evening can even trigger the release of insulin due to the carbohydrates in milk, potentially disrupting your body’s circadian rhythm. The main thing is to create a balance and drink milk in moderation to avoid any problems.

benefits of drinking milk in the evening
Drinking milk in the evening can cause you to gain weight. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Is drinking milk in the evening harmful for women facing hormonal changes?

Most often, women are advised not to drink milk in the evening if they are experiencing hormonal changes. The expert clarifies that dairy products are not strictly prohibited for women undergoing hormonal changes. Excessive consumption of dairy products can cause your blood sugar levels to rise by triggering insulin growth factors, especially in people with PCOS or PCOS.

Several studies have shown that milk contains small amounts of various hormones, including progesterone and estrogen, which could make the problem worse. The expert recommends consuming milk and its products to benefit from their nutritional value, but they should be drunk in moderation. Along with this, you need to make sure that you are getting enough other nutrients like protein and calcium so that you don’t experience deficiencies even if you reduce your milk intake. Ragi, dark green leafy vegetables or sesame seeds are some of the best sources that you can include in your diet.

Take away

Drinking milk in the evening isn’t such a bad idea after all! It turns out that it helps you sleep better by inducing the production of the right hormones. By harnessing the power of tryptophan and the resulting melatonin and serotonin, drinking milk in the evening helps promote restful sleep. However, it may not be a good idea for people trying to lose weight to drink milk in the evening, as it can add to the extra pounds. This could also be a problem for women with hormonal imbalances if they don’t drink it in moderation. So the key is to exercise moderation if you can’t sleep without sipping a glass of warm milk.

Whether you seek comfort in a cup of warm milk for its calming effects or include it in your diet to add nutritional value, this centuries-old practice offers a multitude of health benefits. This might be the calming drink you need. That said, don’t forget to check with your doctor whether drinking milk in the evening is good for you or not.

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