T Nation

More Muscle or Just Faster?


So, I've wondered for some time that if a person is eating a good baseline diet, will adding in smart pre/post workout nutrition build muscle that you otherwise couldn't, or only help you build that muscle faster?

I hope that makes sense.


A seemingly simple simple question with a not so simple answer.

Before anything can happen in your body two criteria must be met:

 1)  The training stimulus is of sufficient intensity so as to cause an effect in the body (i.e.  you are training hard enough)

 2)  The peri-training nutrition is comprised of the proper elements (i.e. you take the right stuff at the right time)

With those two conditions satisfied, the body will build muscle as quickly as it is able to. But only within the limitations of your body; Things like stress levels, recovery ability, growth potential, muscle fiber types, etc. will all play a role.

Bottom line, smart peri-training nutrition will only help you to build muscle faster. It cannot cause your body to build something it otherwise would not on its own.

Peri-training nutrition is just that, nutrition. It's a targeted, specific combination of proteins, fats, carbs, amino acids and other nutrients that simply enable your body to perform and recover as best it can.

Sorry for the wordy answer.

Hope that helps.


Peri-workout nutrition is not going to make your genetic ceiling higher (eg, "build muscle you otherwise couldn't").

Will it make each individual grow muscle fast? No straight answer here!

Why are you thinking about this?


Why not just do it? It's been shown to work, stop over-thinking and just do it.


Why? Mostly because I suspect that over time it isn't going to matter whether you focused on pre/post workout nutrition. What difference is it going to make over a year or two or five?


Results are variable and depend on more than peri-workout nutrition.


You can have good peri-workout nutrition, a shitty program, shitty sleep, and shitty genetics.

You can have no peri-workout nutrition, an OK program, OK sleep, and OK genetics.

You can have good peri-workout nutrition, a shit program, a crappy diet, excellent sleep, and great genetics.

How are we supposed to answer this so simply.

It also depends on how long you've gone without eating up until working out. If you wait 3 hours to work out, you might benefit from peri-workout nutrition. If you just ate an hour ago, there might be no need for mid-workout nutrition considering that a decent sized meal takes 4 hours to digest.

If you don't like the idea, don't do it.


It's wordy, but it's good because it goes to show that this can't be answered simply.


This statement has so much truth.



One of the craziest questions I've seen in a while.


Speaking of which, Bonez could you tell me what you think the best creatine is for strength? And endurance too, because I want to stay functional.