Who doesn’t love a late night snack? We are pretty sure everyone does, but you should know that there are some snacks you really should avoid. They can cause sleep problems or health issues later on in life. They can also absolutely destroy any diet and exercise efforts you have made. Here are 15 snacks you should never eat at night. No. 8 threw us through a loop and No. 14 ruined our entire team.
1. Green tea
Green tea | Shaiith/iStock/Getty Images
You would think that green tea would be a nice way to relax just before bed, but it will actually cause you more problems than you think. Green tea contains theobromine, theophylline, and caffeine. This will increase your heart rate and make it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep. Theobromine and theophylline are also thought to cause nervousness or anxiety.
If you do want to indulge in some green tea, try to have it no less than three hours before bed.
Next: We know you would never snack on these on their own, but they can sneak their way into some snacks.
2. Raw onions
Onions | iStock.com/Jelenast
Raw onion isn’t exactly a snack that you can just bite into. The idea of it sounds a little rough. But it is good to pay attention to what is going into your snacks at night. Onions can cause a lot of gas to build up and make you a little uncomfortable when you’re sleeping. Not to mention, but it is also courteous for the person next to you in that bed.
Next: This is a hard one to resist when you have leftovers.
Deep dish pizza | Bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images
Pizza is one of the greatest foods on the planet. It can have all corners of the food pyramid in it. It is best eaten hot but is almost just as good cold. And one slice generally has enough calories to keep you going through the day.
Because of the fact that it is good cold, a lot of people grab a leftover slice out of the fridge right before bed. Having the fats from the cheese and the acid in the tomato sauce can cause some acid reflux. Even if you don’t feel it, you could still be having it through the night. That will cause you to wake up slightly and you will feel it the next day.
Next: These are great replacements for your midday candy bar, but they should be avoided before bedtime.
4. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit | iStock.com/Juanmonino
Dried fruits are a great midday snack if you are looking to replace some sweets in your diet. They are really high in fiber and can help if you are a little backed up. But for that same reason, they are bad for bedtime. They cause some cramping due to their low water content. Their high fiber also creates a lot of gas. Try to avoid them first thing in the morning as well.
Next: These types of foods are great for dieting, but are terrible for sleeping.
5. Spicy foods
Hot wings | Bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images
Spicy foods aren’t only delicious, they are also a great way to kick your metabolism up a few notches while you are dieting. But it’s best to save them for lunch or dinner. Having your metabolism running at high speed will just keep you awake. That’s because of capsaicin, the thing that makes things spicy. Capsaicin will increase your blood flow and elevate your body temperature. Generally, your body will cool down when it’s time to sleep.
Next: They may be delicious, but you just need to avoid them in general.
6. Fatty foods
Hamburger | Dizelen/iStock/Getty Images
Yes, that does include the ice cream sandwich, the burger, and all the other super fatty foods you can think of. Your body stores those things in your hips and stomach as fat because they aren’t being burned. Fatty foods also fragment your sleep because they bloating and indigestion. that will essentially leave you feeling unrested in the morning and a lot heavier.
Next: Now you have a health excuse for day drinking.
Shots of alcohol | Bogdanhoda/Getty images
Objectively, alcohol is one of the worst things for our society. Personally, it is one of the best things to ever happen to us. Nevertheless, you should avoid that nightcap for many reasons. Alcohol prevents your body from ever reaching REM sleep. It also dehydrates you which can lead to discomfort through the night. Lastly, it also gets processed ahead of everything else in your system which turns all the other stuff directly into fat. try to stop your alcohol intake a few hours before bed.
Next: This is by far the most baffling thing to avoid before bed.
Glass of water | Pinkomele/iStock/Getty Images
Getting enough water throughout the day can be really hard, especially with all the other convenient and tasty options that are out there. But you really want to avoid pounding a glass of water before bed. The only reason being is that it will make you want to urinate in the middle of the night. Waking up sucks, and it’s even worse when you need to high tail it to the bathroom.
Next: Let’s all shout a collective “noooooooo!” for this next item.
Liquid chocolate | FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI/AFP/Getty Images
Well, this ruined dessert for us. Chocolate does have its health benefits, but unfortunately, chocolate also has caffeine in it. Yup, that sweet little nugget you reward yourself with at the end of the day is just spiking your sleep and not letting you get a full nights rest. It can also cause some heartburn which is never fun.
Next: To be honest, if you’re having either of these before bed, you need more help than we can give.
10. Coffee or Soda
Coffee | Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Coffe is strictly a morning drink. Never have it in the afternoon otherwise you’re just messing up your sleep schedule. Sure it’s tasty and getting ever easier to make, but it should never be your default beverage choice.
Sugary or caffeinated sodas are simply a never drink. Don’t have them at all. The amount of sugar you’re consuming will just lead to weight gain and sugar crashes. The caffeine will just lead to more restless nights. If you like sparkling liquids, we suggest plain soda water or extremely lightly flavored sodas.
Next: Following the rule of avoiding sugary things before bed …
11. Sugary cereals
Fruit Loop cereal | iStock.com/bhofack2
We are being specific about sugary cereals in the same way that we are specific about sodas. You really want to avoid any sugary items before bed because it is just bad for you in general.
If you really want a bowl of cereal before bed, just have a low/no sugar cereal with skim milk. In some cases, this snack will actually help you fall asleep quicker.
Next: The idea behind these snacks is that they will last for a long time while you sleep.
12. High protein snacks
Protein | Rimma_Bondarenko/Getty Images
We are talking about beef, chicken, pork or anything else that has a lot of protein. These are great foods for long-lasting energy and because of that idea, a lot of people think that they can prevent themselves from getting up hungry.
The problem is that high protein foods inhibit the production of tryptophan and that can slow the serotonin ratio in your system those are two key elements of getting to sleep. Plus these snacks can leav you bloated and uncomfortable.
Next: You’re looking for that good goodnight kiss, but you’re only setting yourself up for a bad nights rest.
Tic Tac mints | Jaap2/iStock/Getty Images
Yes, the age-old strategy of masking that onion, garlic, or cheesy meal you just ate with the refreshing mint candies they offer you on your way out of the restaurant. As it turns out, those mints can be a trigger for heartburn; especially peppermint. Avoid it in your tea as well, even though it does sound like a soothing option.
Next: This has literally ruined the entire health team at The Cheat Sheet.
14. French fries
Fries | Authalic/Wikimedia Commons
For the Health and Fitness team at The Cheat Sheet, french fries are life. We actually have an entire day dedicated to them. In case you’re wondering, they do fall under the topic of fitness because we are “fit-n-this” box of fries into our mouth.
So you can imagine how sad we were when we took our blinders off and made the connection that fries are just fatty foods. Which we covered earlier, and that ketchup is an acidic food … which we also covered earlier. The combination will just ruin your night of rest so they should be avoided.
Next: It’s not even smart to do this when you’re not going to bed.
15. It’s a late night snack … not a feast
Unhealthy snack foods | Mukhina1/iStock/Getty Images
Part of the time it’s not what you eat but how you eat. When you stuff your self to the gills with food, your body hates you. Your body hates you so much that it will constantly wake you up throughout the night with indigestion, acid reflux, or even an emergency BM. Simply put, the night time snack is meant to be just that … a snack. Don’t bring a smorgasbord to the bedside, just in case you are feeling peckish.
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