Nutrition FAQ | I want to eat something sweet at night, what can I do?

Posted on June 27, 2019 by

NSWIS athletes get a wide range of assistance and support about diet and nutrition to use food as their performance advantage and reach their goals.

Over time there has been some trends in questions which are common from athletes about their diet and what can help support training.

The specific needs of each individual athlete are always different depending on their goal and training loads but below are some explanations for some of the more common questions and scenarios athletes talk to the NSWIS Dietitian about.


What can I have that’s a better option if I want something sweet at night?

Some athletes can have a real sweet tooth. Getting the ‘picks’ generally happens at night after dinner when you are looking for something more… preferably sweet. Sweet cravings can also happen in the afternoon and are commonly seen in athletes that have an early training session.

Craving sweet food can be the body’s way of ensuring the food you eat will contain sugar and therefore essential carbohydrates to replace what you have used up in training.

Your body is trying to tell you something.

If this keeps happening, rather than trying to find an alternative sweet option find a longer term solution and listen to what your body is trying to tell you by going back to the cause.

Consider what you are eating earlier in the day (here are some meal ideas) as you may need to use the whole day to fuel more efficiently and eat a little more around training or earlier in the day, rather than wait till the end of the day to make up for all the energy you haven’t got yet and having high energy food right before bed.

This may include a bigger carb load before training, more protein to recover directly after training, a more balanced and high fibrebreakfast or a higher protein option at morning tea. The more sugar you have the more you will want and the more you give into the sweet craving the worse it will get and neither will help performance or recovery.

That’s not saying to never eat chocolate or sweets again but to eat it because you enjoy it, not to replace a genuine need fuel and nutrients for recovery.


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Virginia Russell

Hi I am looking for nutrition information for myself, an old athlete! I am 62, female, working full time, driving 3 hours a day to and from work which is an office job. I attend 2-3 gym or bootcamp sessions a week and run 3 times a week. I feel exhausted at the moment and have put a stop to it all, mainly because I took a blow to the ribs at bootcamp a week ago and although no broken ribs, I am sore and finding breathing difficult!

I usually follow a low GI diet but after reading your blog on needing sweet things at the end of the day, perhaps I am not doing it properly! Can you suggest how to balance my meals better during the day so that doesn’t happen?

Many thanks.

    Thanks for your question, there are so many different individualised and lifestyle factors that should be included when considering the right diet for you. To take control of your health it might be best to see an accredited sports dietitian in your area which you can find via the website. They can provide specific and individualised advice to suit your needs and activity levels. Good luck!

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