T Nation

Doing the Right Thing Pre-Workout?


Ok, here's my deal guys, I just want to get some affirmation that I'm not completely screwing myself with my pre- and peri-workout nutrition.

I train first thing in the morning after I wake up. My current plan is this:

1 serving oats
Shake with 1 scoop powder Gatorade, 1 scoop whey

During workout:
20 g whey


+15 min: 1 scoop whey
+60 min: P+C Meal

Any feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.


Got any fat in there? Eggs in the protein/carb meal?


Should have said, I take two fish oil caps with breakfast, and my solid food meal does have some fat in it.


There is a lot of discussion of this in Christian Thibaudeau's forum, and he is more expert on this, so the best single thing I can recommend is to find what he has advised.

Very briefly though I'd suggest looking at it this way:

How many hours are being covered in this nutrition? I don't know, let's say it is 2 hours time from when you wake up to the time of the post workout whey, and another hour before the next meal. So three hours time. (I expect your actual figure will be different: this is just illustration.)

Well, even if doing nothing, aren't you burning say 120 cal/hour just by being alive and awake? So that's 360 calories for 3 hours.

Your workout presumably burns something. I don't know what: maybe 500 calories? Just making up a figure there.

So this is 860 calories -- oh, maybe it's 600 or 900, but some figure like this -- just to cover those three hours.

That amount would do nothing towards actually providing a surplus when the muscles can best take it up.

It would do nothing towards filling the hole (so to speak) resulting from having had nothing to eat for 8 hours or whatever while asleep.

It would just cover expenditures for those 3 hours.

Are the calories of your breakfast, your 20 g of whey during workout, and 1 scoop after workout, anything like even that 600-900 calories?

Wouldn't it be better if what you actually took in were not only enough to cover expenditures, but to "fill the hole" and to even give some surplus for the muscles?


Hi Bill

My reading of CT's guidelines for mid-morning training is that a fast-acting high protein/very low fat meal, with 200-400g of low GI fruit, should constitute the solid breakfast meal. Then 2-3 hours later the para-workout phase begins beginning with the insulin spike strategy. For the meal, CT has quoted 10-12 egg whites and the 200-400g fruit. This can equate to, roughly, 250kcals. Para-workout using say 2 scoops of Workout Fuel, 2 scoops Surge and 3 scoops whey hydrosylate equates to roughly 550kcals. This means from waking to the end of the workout, say a 4-hour period, one has ingested 800kcals.
This appears to fly in the face of guidelines from, for example, Poliquin, who talks about steak and cashew nuts for breakfast prior to training - hence banking a huge energy reserve before the workout.

I'm intrigued by CT's theories because they seem to suggest, to me, that ingesting a large amount of calories is not necessary for optimum protein synthesis. Rather, it's more to do with timing and protein type, i.e. protein pulsing protocol. This suits my lifestyle but I would be intrigued to see how a bodybuilder used to ingesting 6,000kcals a day for maintenance factors the protocol in to his lifestyle.


regarding on edge's post...

is it necessary to have fats peri-wo? i've been under the impression that fats slow down circulation and should be avoided until the meal after you pwo meal. any input?


It makes sense in that your blood sugar will be more stable so you don't crash.


Fats will slow down digestion = less effective insulin spike = less gains imo


I think that's one thing we can be certain about - avoid fats para-workout. The new protocol, as well as traditional nutritional theories, do suggest that fat can be re-introduced 90 mins post-workout, i.e. 30 mins after another fast-acting protein pulse. So you don't need to wait as long before ingesting fat.