T Nation

cheating before a workout

Hey guys, I read some of the stuff on the cheater’s diet on the forum here, and some of the articles in the mag, and I have a question, hoping to get several different opinions.

I have been doing a cheat of one meal (mostly just high carb stuff that I crave), 2x per week BEFORE a workout, with the thinking that the sugars and excess carbs would be used towards the workout and have less negative effect on the body. PLEASE give me an opinion on this! You guys know your shit and this is something that I’m trying to get straight. Should I be cheating (carb loading) on workout days or off days. Or before or after a workout?
THANKS for the help!

Whoa, hold on there! I’d keep the cheat meals distanced from your workouts as much as possible, preferably on off days. Keep in mind that pre-workout and post-workout nutrition should be as precision as possible, so a Whopper combo ain’t gonna cut it!

If conducting a hypertrophy workout, have your SURGE pre and post workout and then 1-2 hours later have your cheat meal.

Also, let me mention that it would be best to follow you cheat meal up w/ a continued refeed on carbs to get the desired leptin response. After doing more research, one meal isnt going to do it.

If doing a regular core workout, I would agree with Joel’s suggestion to maximize the effects of your cheat. If you are just doing some junk cardio to negate the cheat, then I would do it after the cheat meal as Berardi described in his “anti cheating” article a few months ago. Wow, actually I think it was almost a year ago.

Thanks for the responses! I was of two minds about the topic and you helped alot. And I’m sorry but, could you tell me what kinds of meals I could eat pre and post-workout if I don’t use SURGE? I try not to use too much for supplements. And I was reading Joel and John’s articles on cheats, and I wonder what you can eat for junk if you can’t eat fats and carbs together. I mean, doesn’t all good junk have both. Pizza, ice cream, pie, cookies, burger and fries… please help… I’m an addict!

Well, unless you are eating the foods you mentioned, you’re not really cheating. The point of cheat meals and then timing your exercise appropriately either before or after them is really twofold:

1)Satisfies your psychological cravings. This is by far the most important part of a cheat meal. After cheating, you satisfy your cravings and then feel like crap because you just ate crap. So after a cheat, you are more motivated to eat clean for the next few days.

2)Overeating jacks up anabolic hormone levels in the body. This is why Joel recommends doing your cheat after a weight lifting session, so that you can consider it as part of the post-workout nutrition.

As for what you can eat instead of Surge, you are best off with some simple easy to digest carbohydrates and proteins in moderate quantities. Plain white bread is not a bad choice in this situation as it breaks down quickly for your sugar source, but the protein is a little more complex. You could try drinking some milk for the protein (you'll need additional carbs and this is where the white bread comes in). You could also try egg whites as these are fairly mild to the stomach and are completely protein, so digestion will be faster than most meat sources.

I think you are doing yourself a disservice by ruling out a pre/post workout beverage such as
SURGE; this is 2002 and our understanding of pre/post workout nutrition is much greater than it ever has been. I agree that there are few neccesary supplements, but I would certainly say that SURGE is one of them.