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Is carrot juice good before bed?

Carrot juice is a popular beverage that many people enjoy as a nutritious snack or part of a healthy diet. Some claim that drinking carrot juice before bed can provide unique health benefits. This article reviews the science behind the potential effects of drinking carrot juice before bedtime.

Benefits of carrot juice

First, let’s review some of the general benefits associated with carrot juice.

Carrots are an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. One cup (240 mL) of carrot juice provides (1):

  • Vitamin A: 1968% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin C: 22% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 31% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 20% of the RDI
  • Beta-carotene: 573% of the RDI
  • Lutein and zeaxanthin: 769% of the RDI

The high levels of vitamin A and beta-carotene make carrot juice an outstanding source of provitamin A antioxidants. These can help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in your body (2, 3).

Carrot juice is also quite low in calories, with only 94 per cup (240 mL). It provides some fiber, vitamin B6, iron and magnesium as well (1).

For these reasons, drinking carrot juice is associated with numerous health benefits, such as improved immunity, eye health, lower cholesterol levels and detoxification (4, 5).

Carrot juice as a sleep aid

Some proponents claim that drinking carrot juice before bed can be especially beneficial for sleep.

This is partly because carrots are loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene, which have been linked to improved sleep quality.

One study gave 2,700 IU of vitamin A per day to adults aged 50–75 with low blood levels of beta-carotene. After six months, they reported improved sleep quality (6).

Beta-carotene may also increase levels of glutathione — the body’s master antioxidant — in your brain. This could promote refreshed and restful sleep (7).

Furthermore, carrots and their juice contain carotenoids — antioxidants that accumulate in your body’s fat stores. At night, your fat stores release these carotenoids into your blood, potentially inducing sleep (8).

That said, there is currently no direct evidence that drinking carrot juice before bed will improve your sleep quality or help you fall asleep faster.

More large-scale human studies are needed.

Other potential benefits of carrot juice before bed

Aside from aiding sleep, some additional benefits may come from drinking carrot juice close to your bedtime.

May stabilize blood sugar

Having stable blood sugar levels overnight is important for restful sleep.

Major fluctuations in blood sugar can cause hormones like cortisol and adrenaline to spike, making it difficult to fall and stay asleep (9).

Carrot juice has a low glycemic index, meaning it does not spike your blood sugar levels. Plus, it provides fiber that helps slow the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream (10).

Taken together, these properties mean that drinking carrot juice before bed is unlikely to disrupt your blood sugar balance and sleep quality.

Could reduce acid reflux

If you regularly suffer from acid reflux symptoms at night, carrot juice may help.

Reflux symptoms like heartburn are often worse when lying down, and some evidence suggests juice could reduce or delay reflux (11).

More specifically, since carrot juice is a non-acidic, low-fat beverage, it may help reduce stomach acid and provide relief from acid reflux at night (12).

That said, more studies are needed on carrot juice itself.

Contains melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone your brain secretes at night to induce sleep. Some dietary sources like cherries and tomatoes provide melatonin as well (13).

Carrots also contain melatonin, around 149 ng per 100 grams — although processed juice may contain less (14, 15).

While this is a low amount compared to melatonin supplements, some people are sensitive to doses this small. Thus, having carrot juice before bed may provide supplemental melatonin to aid sleep.

Downsides of drinking carrot juice at night

Despite the potential benefits, some downsides are associated with drinking carrot juice before bed.

Contains sugar

Around 5.5 ounces (165 mL) of carrot juice provides 10 grams of natural sugar. While not excessive, this may affect blood sugar balance (1).

Moderate sugar intake is likely fine, but drinking large amounts could counteract some of the benefits of carrot juice at night.

Excess vitamin A

Carrot juice is very high in vitamin A, which you can easily overconsume. The upper limit for adults is 3,000 mcg daily, or 10,000 IU (16).

Just 1 cup (240 mL) of carrot juice provides over 5,000 mcg vitamin A, and drinking more than 1 cup (240 mL) per day regularly is not recommended.

Vitamin A toxicity can cause symptoms like nausea, irritability and liver damage. Pregnant women need to be especially careful with their vitamin A intake (17).

May disrupt sleep

Some sources claim that carrots are mildly diuretic, meaning they may make you urinate more often. This could potentially disrupt sleep (18).

That said, there is no evidence that normal amounts of carrot juice commonly have diuretic effects.

Who should not drink carrot juice before bed?

While carrot juice before bed is likely safe for most people, some individuals should exercise caution or avoid it altogether.

  • Pregnant women: Should limit vitamin A intake to 3,000 mcg (10,000 IU) daily to avoid toxicity (17).
  • Blood sugar issues: Those with diabetes or taking blood sugar medications may need to monitor levels (19).
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): May aggravate symptoms in some people (20).
  • Carrot allergy: Rare but can cause anaphylaxis (21).

In most cases, drinking a moderate amount of carrot juice before bed is unlikely to cause harm. However, it’s best to consult your healthcare provider if you have any concerns.

Recipes for carrot juice before bed

Here are some simple recipes to try using carrot juice before bed:

Basic carrot juice

Ingredients:

  • 10 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1 small apple, cored
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) fresh ginger, peeled

Instructions: Run all ingredients through a juicer. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Carrot apple turmeric juice

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (450 g) carrots, peeled
  • 1 apple, cored
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) fresh turmeric, peeled
  • 1 inch (2.5 cm) fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

Instructions: Juice all ingredients except lemon juice. Stir in lemon juice and drink.

Carrot grape juice

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb (450 g) carrots, peeled
  • 1 cup (150 g) green grapes
  • 1 orange, peeled

Instructions: Juice all ingredients together and enjoy!

Conclusion

Carrot juice before bed may help improve sleep quality, stabilize blood sugar, reduce acid reflux and provide additional melatonin. However, it’s best to avoid excessive intake due to the high amounts of vitamin A.

Moderate intake is unlikely to cause harm for most people, but those with certain medical conditions may want to exercise caution.

While more research is needed, preliminary evidence suggests that drinking a small glass of carrot juice before bed can be a healthy part of an overall sleep-promoting lifestyle.