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.”