Probably the best way to describe the Bedtime Belly Buster is as an overnight sensation. Before the hundreds of testimonials and “before” and “after” pictures of newly flattened stomachs came pouring in after its use, the ever-so-popular BBB began simply as sensible nutritional advice posted on social media. The word is that you can flatten your stomach (or “blast that belly” or “flab-in-ate that tummy”) with a combination of Isagenix products. Is it true? Let’s review what the BBB is, where it came from, and how it went viral within social media circles. Most importantly, let’s see what the scientific evidence says.
How the BBB blew up Facebook
Larry F., of Florida—who is the first member of the Isagenix 200-Pound Club, a group of members who have lost more than 200 pounds with Isagenix products—originally authored the post in a closed group on Facebook. He said he got the idea after hearing it mentioned on a conference call with balanced living expert and Isagenix Millionaire Susan S., of Toronto, that pairing protein with calcium just before bed could help you sleep better, preserve muscle, boost fat burning, and assist weight management. “That’s when the Belly Buster was born and it took the Isagenix world by storm,” Larry says.
In its original version, Larry says, the BBB recipe only included Isagenix IsaPro mixed with IsaCalcium.* It later evolved into other variations; for example, with an optional addition of Fiberpro for greater satiety.
Now BBB recipes have expanded to suit those who already receive calcium aplenty to meet recommended dietary intakes through other Isagenix products such as IsaLean Shakes and Ageless Essentials Daily Pack. As a substitute to IsaCalcium,* suggestions are to mix IsaPro with IsaFruits, or the natural flavors of Want More Energy?—don’t let “energy” in the product name fool you; the drinks contain no caffeine and make for excellent recovery drinks at night providing only a few calories (as long as the suggested serving size is used).
Most recently, Isagenix Sleep Support Spray is recommended to accompany the BBB due to its contribution of melatonin to help with improved sleep. In addition, the Ageless Essential Daily Pack PM packet (when not taking IsaCalcium) is valuable for not only its calcium, but also for providing calcium-supporting vitamins D and K, as well as muscle-relaxing magnesium.
According to Larry, the main goal is to make sure you reach the deep stages of sleep that the combination of the products along with melatonin help you to achieve leaving you well-rested, refreshed, and ready to metabolize fat more efficiently. However, is the advice sound or is the BBB mainly as a delicious treat you can enjoy in place of an after-dinner, high-calorie dessert?
Sleeping Your Weight Off through Science
Based on the complex interactions of the nutrients in the BBB—dietary whey protein and muscle, dietary calcium and fat, and both nutrients with the serotonin- and melatonin-mediated sleep-wake cycle—there is actually excellent evidence to support the combination as a real belly-blaster.
- The quality of protein is key. According to studies, whey protein not only boosts metabolism (for extra fat burning during sleep and upon awakening) and satiety (feeling full longer), but also improves postexercise overnight recovery and overall sleep (1, 2). One way it might improve sleep is because it provides a good dose of tryptophan, which increases the amino acid’s access to the brain for creating serotonin (3). Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, which converts to melatonin to regulate the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
- Calcium is a mineral best absorbed when consumed over the course of the day. This is why calcium is best broken up in dosages across IsaLean Shakes and Ageless Essentials Daily Pack AM and PM packets. In addition, calcium (especially when combined with magnesium) may also affect the sleep-wake cycle by influencing serotonin and melatonin levels to improve sleep (6, 7). However, most people need only within 1,000 to 1,500 mg total daily—and when these amounts are reached, there’s no reason to take additional calcium at night if you’re already meeting these requirements. A side benefit of calcium is that it can bind to dietary fat, reducing its absorption, thereby reducing intake of calories at meals, so it’s usually a good idea to take a PM packet with dinner (generally the largest meal of the day) if attempting to lose weight.
- There is mounting evidence that the quality and amount of sleep one gets can predict weight loss. The reason being that lost or mistimed sleep can wreak havoc on the body’s “central clock,” or central circadian rhythm, which can affect everything from metabolism to appetite regulation. Sleep Support and Renewal provides melatonin, production of which declines with age, as a safe way to help restore healthy sleep. Supplementing with melatonin and following advice such as getting regular exercise earlier in the day and turning off anything with a screen (e.g. computer) early in the evening can help ensure a better night’s rest.
Evolution of the BBB Recipe
With the science giving the BBB a “thumbs up,” you’re probably wondering about that recipe again. Here is the newly advanced BBB recipe with only slight modifications from Larry’s latest post—you will need the following combination of products:
- 1 scoop of IsaPro whey protein concentrate (not to be confused with IsaLean Pro Shake)
- Choose 1 of the following:
- 1 scoop of IsaFruits
- 1½ tsp. (not a whole stick) of Want More Energy? natural tropical and hibiscus, citrus, or orange flavors
- 1 or ½ scoop of IsaCalcium* (only if not already getting enough calcium from other sources already; it’s recommended to use Ageless Essentials Daily packets)
- 1 scoop FiberPro (optional – only available in the U.S.)
Instructions: Take a large IsaBlender vessel containing 4 or 5 oz. of water, add above ingredients, and blend. If desired, add 2 or 3 ice cubes (or crushed ice) and re-blend. Because the mix tends to foam up quickly, it’s suggested to shake vigorously before blending. With exception of the recipe using IsaCalcium, any of these combinations can also work well in the IsaShaker™. Enjoy 30 to 60 minutes before bed. It can be performed on any Shake Day; however, it’s not recommended on a Cleanse Day.
Additional product recommendations:
- Take Sleep Support Renewal spray
- Take 1 PM packet of Ageless Essentials Daily Pack (besides calcium, it includes other important nutrients such as vitamin D, vitamin K, and omega-3s) preferably at dinner time prior to the BBB recipe above
The BBB bottom line is that there are a variety of ways to achieve its goals so long as you include whey protein along with calcium in the diet throughout the day and make sure to focus on getting the most restful sleep possible through a healthy lifestyle, balanced diet, and proper supplementation.
*Update 3-6-2014: IsaCalcium has now been discontinued. Please feel free to substitute IsaCalcium with IsaFruits or Want More Energy? to continue enjoying the benefits of the Isagenix BBB.
- Madzima TA, Panton LB, Fretti SK, Kinsey AW, Ormsbee MJ. Night-time consumption of protein or carbohydrate results in increased morning resting energy expenditure in active college-aged men. Br J Nutr 2013;1-7.
- Res PT, Groen B, Pennings B et al. Protein ingestion before sleep improves postexercise overnight recovery. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2012;44:1560-9.
- Markus CR, Olivier B, Panhuysen GE et al. The bovine protein alpha-lactalbumin increases the plasma ratio of tryptophan to the other large neutral amino acids, and in vulnerable subjects raises brain serotonin activity, reduces cortisol concentration, and improves mood under stress. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:1536-44.
- Markus CR, Olivier B, de Haan EH. Whey protein rich in alpha-lactalbumin increases the ratio of plasma tryptophan to the sum of the other large neutral amino acids and improves cognitive performance in stress-vulnerable subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;75:1051-6.
- Camfield DA, Owen L, Scholey AB, Pipingas A, Stough C. Dairy constituents and neurocognitive health in ageing. Br J Nutr 2011;106:159-74.
- Nutrition Breakthroughs. “Insomnia: Studies Confirm Calcium And Magnesium Effective.” Medical News Today. 2009, September 8.
- Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Dec;17(12):1161-1169.