T Nation

For those of you who take pre-workout carbs...


What carbs do you ingest pre-workout, and how much?

I ask because I've recently (within the past three weeks) been getting into more "precise" para-workout nutrition, meaning I intake protein and simple carbs at particular times before and after the workout instead of just having a protein shake any time before and after I work out.

My supplement arsenal is a little basic, but basically I take 60g of Grow! whey about 45 minutes before my workout, followed by 1 quart (52g simple carbs) of a sports drink (usually Gatorade) 15 minutes before starting the workout. About an hour afterwards I have another 40g of Grow!.

Lately I have been experimenting with different timing and amounts of carbs before the workout. I've found that my energy levels and focus/intensity are greatly increased when I have the carbs about 15 minutes before I start doing my lifting, but when I try to ingest anything more than about 1 quart of Gatorade, I start to feel horribly nauseated and bloated. It absolutely kills my desire to train. I'm wanting to increase the amount of carbs I'm taking in, especially before the workout but I can't get around this horrible nausea/bloat.

If anyone has recommendations on how to avoid the pre-workout nausea or perhaps a better carb source to ingest before workout that doesn't cause these effects, I would love to hear about it. Thanks for taking the time to read my question and I look forward to hearing your responses.

EDIT: I also take 10g creatine before and after workout with the protein shake


Hey Nate,
How's it going?
Now, I live in England and therefore do not use Grow! but does it have simple carbs in it?
Because if not, you need to get some in POST-workout. They create an insulin spike that will bring all that lovely whey straight to your muscles.
Secondly, is that second Grow! shake an hour after the end of your workout? If so, have it sooner. I have read that within a half hour is optimal (can't find the source for this but it makes sense logically).
How about sipping Gatorade during the workout? Maybe that would offset the bloating? Be sure to drink lots of water as well.
Hope I could help, at least a little.


I usually have a protein/carb meal about an hour before lifting. lately, its been 160g of pasta with a can of tuna. Ive been using a product from another site, usually two scoops pre and two scoops during. the main carb source in this particular product is called swedish oat starch. it seems to be pretty easy on the gut and gives you a pretty good pump in the gym. google it and im sure you'll find the product.


also, maybe try powdered gatorade instead of pre-mix.


Have you read anything on this site regarding workout nutrition before posting that?


20g of creatine per day? Why?


please don't give advice yet


I thought I saw a recommendation on the forums somewhere about having 10g before and after the workout, but I can't seem to find it now. I guess I should reduce it anyway since everything else I've read just says use the standard 5g. Hopefully avoid one potential cause of the problem

Thanks for your reply. And if it matters, I only take creatine on training days... not every day.


I think you should take creatine every day.

If you like 20g better than 5g then do that. But 5-10g is enough for most adult men


Cool, thanks for the tips bonez.