T Nation

Milk Pre-Workout?


I'm looking for convenience at the job so I decided to drink a protein shake with milk instead of water for the carbs. I was wondering if it was ok or if another source of carbs,like oatmeal, would be better.

I want to create an insulin spike when I'm at the gym but I don't know if the lactose in milk is a good option to reach that goal?


I've never had milk directly bfore or during lifting, but every time I've had it with my last meal before lifting [an hour or two] I felt sluggish.


Best suggestion would be to just try it out and see how it works. Any sort of quick carbs would help before lifting, to be honest.


Stop over-thinking.


I bet you feel like hell.


I tried milk and agree with the sluggishness feeling.

1) I tried chocolate milk, sipping during a workout. Not good at all
2) I tried drinking chocolate milk prior to a workout - better, but still felt sluggish.

I'm currently using Surge Workout Fuel and Surge Recovery prior to workout. I'm mixing them in less water than recommended, so they're concentrated. Much better than milk in my opinion. I've tried both single scoops and double scoops of each at -30 min & -15 min.

Try the milk, see if it works for you.


Thanks for your reply.

That's what I was afraid of, lactose being harder and slower to digest giving you that slugginess feeling. I'll try both and see for myself.


My best workouts usually come after a cup of coffee and an apple pre-workout. Then I eat with a purpose PWO, no shakes for me.


lactose is pretty low-gi im pretty sure so it would not be the best to use for spiking insulin


That is false. The Glycemic Index is a poor, outdated method by which one could estimate the insulin response the pancreas would put forth. The better index to use is the Insulin Index, a newer index that measures insulin response based on none other than insulin response. So, it's best to estimate the insulin load (similar to a glycemic load) of a food to determine the insulin response. Milk, although cosidered low on the glycemic index, actually has a pretty high insulin response which would be reflected on the insulin index if you look it up.

The verdict: for strict insulin response, milk is fairly decent for an insulin response. There are much better carbs out there though. Try dextrose or maltodextrin. I like a 1:1 ratio of those two.


Just wanted to say thank you for this post. I was wondering about this


Why not just plain table sugar for quick carbs mixed with gatorade 10-15 min before your workout. This along with coffee gives me instant energy along with the insulin spike. Works for me!


Someone's been reading John Berardi.


I usually don't use coffee anymore, but I do put honey into my shakes before and during my workout.