Most people forget nutrition is half the battle in their quest to look like a Greek god. They train hard and correctly but stunt their results because they ignore proper workout nutrition. Even someone who eats correctly throughout the day (enough protein, calories, healthy fats etc.) may not reach their full potential if they don’t follow correct pre, post and intra-workout nutrition. Please, don’t be one these people.
Read this article and become learned in the ways of the jacked. Or keep eating Pop Tarts and watching Zyzz motivational videos. The choice is yours.
One of the things about pre-workout nutrition many people don’t understand is it includes your diet from the day before. People need to understand the foods they eat the day before have a huge impact on your current day’s workout.
For example, let’s say yesterday was a heavy-volume leg workout, and afterwards you ate a whole chicken like a savage and fell asleep. Sounds good right? You got your protein in. Not so fast, my chicken loving friend. What about replenishing your carbs? Your muscles are depleted of glycogen from the crazy volume workout.
When you train today, even if you eat carbs beforehand, you will have stored less glycogen and therefore less energy than if you had eaten carbs the day before. Having carbs the day of the workout is not as effective for two reasons.
The first being your muscles can more easily absorb glycogen immediately after a workout, speeding up the process. The second reason is that it takes time for your body to digest and store the carbs you ate for breakfast. Several hours would have to pass after your meal for the carbs to be digested and stored. This could limit your ability to train early in the morning.
The ideal approach is to back load carbs the night before, allowing you to be ready for the current day’s workout. This gives you the opportunity to train early in the morning if needed, and takes advantage of your muscles “thirst” for carbs post-workout.
“What about protein,” you might ask? No worries. As long as you are getting in at least one gram-per-pound of bodyweight throughout the day, and you have some in your pre-workout meal, your body will have plenty of amino acids during your workout. Supplementing with BCAAs pre-workout can be effective, but its a better idea to save them until during the workout, since you are including protein in your pre-workout meal.
Speaking of this pre-workout meal, one should consume simple carbs (but still healthy, so no pop tarts or fruit loops, sugar freaks) such as rice, potatoes or fruit. As for the protein, try to go with lower-fat options such as tuna, turkey and chicken, as fat slows down digestion.
The meal should be consumed fairly close to your workout, but this depends on the individual, as some people need to wait longer then others. Find a time frame that allows you to train feeling fuelled, but not full.
Of the three, intra-workout nutrition is largely considered the least important. Having said that, if your goal is to look as good as possible, pay attention to this section. If you set yourself up correctly with your pre-workout and post workout nutrition, the only real thing you need intra-workout is amino acids in the form of BCAAs.
We recommend buying them in bulk with no flavor, and then adding water enhancers, such as Mio. This lets you get several hundred servings for under twenty bucks, which is a steal.
Some people do recommend ingesting some sort of intra-workout drink that includes protein and carbs (a whey protein and dextrose shake for example), but taking in calories during your workout causes blood to be transported to your stomach, which is not only a bad feeling (as is the possibility of puking mid-squat) but it also reduces your muscle pump. Also, dextrose is just a fancy name for sugar and ingesting massive amounts of it is always unhealthy, even if it is during a workout.
The most important thing to do post-workout is to get amino acids in the form of protein back into your blood stream. Post-workout, your levels of protein synthesis are elevated, so its the perfect chance to re-supply your muscles. The protein should be fast digesting (whey protein, any low-fat meat etc.), and it should be consumed roughly an hour after training.
Contrary to popular belief, ingesting carbs with your protein shake post-workout has no real effect on recovery. The concept of ingesting sugar to spike your insulin, which would help transport the amino acids to your muscles is complete bro science. Ingesting only protein in your post-workout meal is just as effective as adding simple sugars.
However, it is still advisable to eat carbs to replenish glycogen post-workout, just stay away from simple sugars that will only be detrimental to your health. A great example of a perfect post-workout protocol would be to drink a whey protein shake (or two cans of tuna etc.) about an hour after training, and then follow that up with a balanced meal later on that day.
So there it is my friends. The street to swole. The journey to jacked. The road to ripped. The complete guide to pre-, intra- and post-workout nutrition.
See the Bro Science way to prepare your workout meals on the next page…
The Bro Science Way Of Meal Prep
Enjoy The Article? Then Check These Out!