T Nation

Best Pre-Work Out Meal?


So far, I've not taking anything but a cup of strong cofee before excersize, because I've always heard that's bad to make strong efforts while digesting food. But I don't think that's a good choice either. Specially considering that I always hit the gym in the early morning, when I've been for 10-11-hours without eating.

Any advice on what type and quantity of food makes a good pre-work out meal?. Thanks in advance.


I normally have 2 scoops of Grow!, just to get a bit of protien into my system before the workout, I guess...


You might try using Surge during your workout. Dr. Berardi recommends drinking 1/2 serving during your workout.


Good lord You need something in you before you lift man or you will be fueling yourself on well your self.

I would say if you have a half hour or so. Slam a couple scoops Surge pre w/o. It is fast digesting and will givwe you energy. If nothuing else drink a carb drink pre/during so you have something to fuel the w/o.

Hopefully David Barr will chime in here. He has some great thoughts on pre/during/post w/o nutrition.

I can say for me since switching to having my Surge Pre w/o I am loving the w/o intensity I am getting and recovery is good as well.

Hope that helps,


I usually have one of my biggest meals 1-2 hours before I workout. This will include whole wheat bread, natural peanut butter, cottage cheese, Grow!, etc. If your going to be doing an intense activity, you should eat for it. Common sense.


From what I understand, you should ingest a protein and moderate fat meal approximately 1-2hrs before lifting. 2s coops low carb Grow! with flax seeds mixed in has been my traditional pre-workout meal or some natural peanut butter(mmm...). I then apply Berardi's advice and sip on 1/2serving Surge during my workout and finish off the other 1/2 immediately after.



Surge is great during workout and pre-workout, but you need some complex carbs man. My favorite pre-workout meal is oatmeal with 2 scoops of protien powder about an hour before I lift. Oatmeal is great because it is a very slow burning carbohydrate which means long lasting energy throughout your workout. Hope that helps.


Quoted from Dr. Squat (if you don't know who he is, look him up!):

"Your preworkout meal, being comprised of low glycemic index foods, should be more than adequate to carry you through even the most grueling workout. If you haven't eaten correctly prior to training, a sports drink may be the best thing for you. Also, remember that taking in sugar will cause your blood sugar (and, therefore, your insulin level) to skyrocket. If this happens after a workout, you may be able to replenish spent energy sources, but you're certainly not going to get a significant growth hormone (GH) reponse from your training. The high level of insulin that invariably accompanies increased blood sugar will suppress GH secretion. No GH, no growth and repair! Remember, GH is the anabolic substance your body needs to following intense training in order to force an adaptive (anabolic) response.



Doesn't that go against almost all the current conventional thinking about the PWO?


I've always found that I do alot better with my lifts if I eat a protein/fat meal at about 2-3 hours pre-workout. Sometimes, I sip surge during workout.

If I have carbs pre-workout my workouts don't go so well.


DJ, there is a lot of contradictory info here. If you're looking to eat not too long before your training session then Surge is your answer. It has been shown to stimulate protein synthesis 2x greater than when consumed afterward.

If you eat even earlier before hitting the gym, or have goals other than muscle growth/strength, then other suggestions may be appropriate.



My apologies in advance for hijacking...

Why would we care about GH when we can have direct increases in protein synthesis from consuming protein and carbs following the workout? In theory, we don't need hormones to grow, but we need food.

This may be irrelevant because GH is mostly elevated form high rep training, which few people actually do on T-Nation (but that's another point altogether).

HOA, this is not an attack.