T Nation

Post workout / Before bed

I’m wondering what is optimal: I train at nignt, 2 hours before going to bed and I use Surge. What would be the best meal 90 minutes after Surge, considering that it’s 30 minutes before I go to bed? P/C or P/F meal?

This has been discussed a few times before. I believe the answer is dependent on your goals.

If you're trying to gain mass, then I would definitely suggest having a P+C meal. If fat loss is your goal, then a P+F meal may be better, depending on how carbohydrate restrictive your current diet is.

I am certain that a search will bring up some old threads which may provide a more in depth answer. Hope this helps.

I’d take a small portion of really complex carbs (beans would be the best), protein, and fish oil. You want carbs to be in the system for a few hours post-workout. Since you won’t be getting further meals, you want the carbs to be complex. Make sure the meal is small enough to not ruin your sleep.

Thanks Guys.
El_Machinae, what do you think about this?
1 scoop of L/C Grow with flax, olive and fish oils mixed-in with a small amount of oatmeal/All bran, some natural peanut-butter and cottage cheese to round it out?
It’s a difficult balance…

Sounds a bit complex - but I guess it gets the job done. I tend to save fish oils for the night (so no one except the cat has to smell the burps). Make sure to get a decent amount of carbs though, at least 50g if they’re complex. I don’t know about the All-Bran, I tend to find all processed cereals are really quick digesting.

50g !!! I’m a little scared about such a high amount of carbs right before going to bed. I’m not sure that Surge is going to slow absorption enough to minimize fat deposit during the night. I don’t know what Berardi would say about this? So far, this last P/F pudding of the day gets the job done in the health/low%bodyfat department…

I guess it depends on how hard you work out. Remember, that 50g is from very complex sources. This will give a steady but slow stream of healing carbs.

I guess I forgot there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ piece of advice. My recommendation is that you’re doing an aggressive, damaging workout (ie. negatives, power movements, etc.) If you’re not damaging the muscles, then that much carbs won’t be needed (the Surge will do). I’m a big fan of using carbs and insulin to heal training damage.

If you’re that worried about the high carbs, just make certain that you eat VERY fibrous carbs. As El_Machinae suggested, beans are a great source; the high fiber and protein will certainly make for slow digestion. You may want to ditch the flax oil and just stick with the fish oil. I also prefer to have my fish-burps at night. Hope this helps.

Lavifred,Eat your meal as you have laid out.It sounds like a good blance.Remember:Eating carbs after X-O’clock will not alter the laws of metabolism or thermodynamics. At night,your body needs sugar to fuel your nervous system.By morning,your livers glycogen stores are depleted.If you dont want to canibalize muscle protein,YOU NEED THE CARBS.Especialy if your’e bulking.Trust me. I routinely eat a full balanced meal before bed,and I’m currently at <8.5%body fat.The "carbs will make you fat before bed"myth needs to be dispelled.

El_Machinae: Right now, i’m in the middle of my third week on Bryan Haycock’s HST. I’m really pushing that training philosophy to it’s limits. I do feel I’m inflicting a lot of damage on my muscles, so maybe a few more grams of complex carbs will help. Thanks!

John Roman: I think I’ll go for what you suggest, but why do you say to “ditch the flax” in my before-bed pudding???

Scott1118: Thanks for the advice. I too am around 8% body fat, after a long Summer of high fat/lower carb and 5x5 training.

Late night “Pro Carb” advice… I guess I’ll just have to try-it-out and see!

As far as ditching the flax, I only meant that if you have a certain amount you amin to consume during the day–something like two tablespoons, for example–then you might want to break it up so that you take them earlier in the day.

While I certainly have no problem with flax at night, especially in protein pudding I got the impression that you ate Massive Eating style. That being the case, I was looking to avoid combining a TB of flax (13g of fat) witha P+C meal. A few fish oil caps may only give you about 6g of fat, which is a lot more reasonable when taken with high carbs.

However, if you take flax at night because it's the most convenient time to take it, by all means go ahead. One P+C+F meal per day--especially post-post-workout--is not going to ruin your physique goals.

If you do opt to remove the flax from the pre-bed mixture, just add those 13g of fat elsewhere in the day; maybe 6g added to other P+F meals. In that case, though, I would still try to get them from flax, regardless of convenience. Hope this helps.

Thanks for clearing that up John! I’ll try to combine it to my 2 other P/F meals, that fall right before my training. Thanks again!

It’s my pleasure; I’m happy to help. Also, as a meal suggestion, earlier today I had a big salad with chunk light tuna and some flax oil. It was a thrown together “quick fix” but I really enjoy it. Good luck with everything.

Yeah, Haycock’s HST (which I’m currently doing) is based on successive damage. In the upper ranges (15-8 reps per set), I don’t think you’ll be doing much damage, but it’s better safe than sorry. PLUS, his system works best in an anabolic environment.