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Carbs Before Training/Not After. How Long Before?

I just saw a YT clip where it’s suggested you take carbs before your work out rather then after.

My question is how long before ? Unless it’s something like a pre-work drink with a stimulant or something like Plazma , how is anything that has to be digested going make a difference ?

If you said take in more carbs the day before your workout or at least carbs in the morning for an afternoon workout I would get it … but it didn’t say how long before , just said take in carbs before your workout rather than after.

Can someone clarify this for me ? Thanks :+1:

It just depends on the carb source you’re using and how much food/liquids you ingest.

Generally speaking, it is best to wait at least 1.5-2 hours after a big meal before training, especially when there’s a lot of fat and protein in that meal. If you’re only taking in protein pre-workout, whey protein is probably the best as it is absorbed rather quickly. A shake 20-30 minutes pre-workout is fine.

If you’re just grabbing a small carb dominant snack as a pre-workout it can be consumed anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes before your workout.

Fruits are a great option as pre-workout snacks. Just go for the ones with less fiber in them. A small to medium sized apple, a banana or a piece of watermelon are great pre-workout fruits that can be eaten 15-20 minutes before training. They contain just enough carbs to keep cortisol in check and also not too many carbs which can make you feel tired/sluggish/less focused during your workout.

You also get a good dose of important micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals) from them that support energy metabolism and electrolyte replenishment (important for nervous system function and muscle recruitment/contractions/relaxation), which are very important to maintain good performance.


Thanks for reply .

Yeah, what you say is what I always did which is why the 'carb before training ’ threw me for a second. Except for my pre-workout drink which was my own mix of Argentine and Citrulline but replaced this summer with Plazma, I workout on an empty stomach as it’s after my 12 intermittent fast.

If I did eat something right before, it was watermelon as when it’s it’s in season, I have a serious addiction to it :stuck_out_tongue:

I have been eating fats and protein pre workout for the past 8 months and have seen some of my best growth during that time. It’s most likely not super critical

I agree. It’s more of an individual thing.

Some people have a more sensitive digestive system and get stomach issues when eating fats, protein or complex carbs too close to training. Others have no problems at all. For example Matthew Fraser can eat a giant burger loaded with beef and fats 30 minutes before a crossfit session and have no issue performing his lifts.

I personally customize my pre-workout meals/snacks based on my stress levels and my goals at that point in time. If i’m doing a hypertrophy or fat burning focused macrocycle, I tend to go with a small portion of fruits pre-workout to control cortisol and adrenaline levels (especially during higher volume phases or when stressed) and to enjoy the benefits of increased IGF-1 from the liver (although it’s really not that big of a deal).

When i’m training for strength however, I want to INCREASE my cortisol and adrenaline output. A higher fat/protein and lower carb approach works great for this. I usually eat a handful of brazil nuts along with some blueberries one hour pre-workout as this will increase dopamine levels (brazil nuts) and give more fuel for adrenaline production.

Adrenaline helps muscle fibers contract harder and amps up the nervous system. The increased acetylcholine levels (berries) helps buffer overproduction of adrenaline and therefore prevent the nervous system from getting overly amped up, which decreases performance. Acetylcholine also helps with concentration and increases neuromuscular efficiency.

At the end of the day it all comes down to the individual response and what makes you perform and recover at your best. These are all just interesting details but covering the basics like energy balance, progressive overload in training, great sleep hygiene and stress management are going to be much more effective for results than how optimized your pre-workout is.

“Methods are many, principles are few. Methods will always change but principles never do.”

Similar. Mine is eggs and beef about 10 min before.