I believe you have felt hungry, so hungry around the time you have to go to bed before. This is usually the case among people who do not go to bed early but not exclusive to them. Some people eat very early around 5pm and by 8-9pm they are extremely hungry. The question is what do you eat when this unholy hunger occurs? The last cup is that beverage or drink that you use to satisfy your hunger just before you go to bed.
We all know that late meals do not offer us anything good beyond the feeling of satiety. The food will usually be digested and assimilated. But since you go bed soon, your body has no chance of using most of the nutrients from that late meal. This encourages the storage of these nutrients as fat, thereby leading to body fatness or obesity and its attendant myriads of complications.
It is worth noting that food usage by the body during the night is not as fast as during the day. So even if you are active and moving about at night after a late meal, your body will still find part of the late meal to store as fat. This answers the question posed by many people as to whether being active at night after a late hefty meal is not healthy. No it is still not healthy.
So the last cup may not be that good after all. Trying to make your last cup as low in energy as much as possible is the way to go. This is because, no matter the consequences of eating late, people will always feel hungry at night. Kudos to those who are able to control themselves so well that they take nothing except water may be at night. Such people are just alright with their supper and are able to go to bed and then eat the following morning.
But for the rest of us who have to eat at night or take a late cup, going on very low energy meals is the way to go. If it is a beverage you want to take as a last cup, do not load it up with sugar. Actually sugar free beverages are a better option. You can add some milk but not a whole tin; moderation is key. Since it is not the best to eat so much starch at such late hours; these beverages should be taken without bread; remember, the context here is late at night.
Apart from beverages, one can also consider taking light soup made with dry fish and containing lots of vegetables. Eating salads that have not cream is also okay at night. Tea without bread can also be chosen as a late meal at night. The examples cited above will present with very low energy, fat and carbohydrate content. Obviously, these are better deals for the body at night.
Actually, taking a last cup must not be the norm. This unfortunately is not true for some people. There is the need for a concerted effort to bring the practice to an end. Lots of self-discipline must be employed. Also taking supper around 6.30pm instead of say 4pm is a sure way of ensuring that you do not feel hungry around 9 or 10pm.
Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers for example will feel so hungry at night. This is true due to the energy demands placed on the body by such activities. If not managed well, satisfying this late night hunger can lead to excessive weight gain which can have bad effects on both the mother, unborn baby and the breastfeeding baby. The solution to this is the choice of low energy meals as described above.
Fruits are also chosen by some people as food that can be eaten at night. We all know how good and healthy fruits are but often forget that they contain some sugar. The reason why they taste so sweet and delicious. Loading up on them at night is just like eating other starchy foods at night. So the same way that we agree and accept the fact that starchy foods are not to be eaten late at night, we need to also take steps to avoid eating fruits at night.
The safest thing to do is to eat all sugar or starch containing foods early enough. If there is the need to take something at night, let that cup or plate be filled with foods except the starchy ones and the oily ones.