T Nation

Pre-Workout Ideas


Hey guys - Just wanted to know what kind of stuff to have pre-workout which would replace my present plan. I'm 19, 185-ish lbs, like 11% bf (estimate) and have been working out for a year now. Each of my workouts consists of 4 compound movements each (4 sets of 8-10) and takes 1 hr 20 min (3 min rest periods).

This calls for a large amount of carbs to sustain the necessary energy (rice is so god damn concentrated!). An hour before working out, I consume about 700 cal of rice (about 160g carbs). Although it sounds like too much, I have experienced no weight gain and I'm always tired at the end of my workouts and beleive that my rice is being put to great use. Any ideas on easier ways of having a pre-workout meal?

People take Surge but my only problem with that is that it does not have as many carbs and has alot of sugar. Considering the fact that I'm exhausted by the end of each workout and I'm maintaining my body weight, I can't picture consuming less than what I am for pre-workout. Any ideas are appreciated!!



run a pre workout meal search of the site. That's the best I can tell you


Who advocates working out for 1 hr 20 mins, I thought it was common knowledge that hormone levels cannot be sustained so as the be constructive for weight gain for this long. I never train for more than 45 mins. As for the rice, are you eating this rice on its own ? A smaller amount of rice with some protein source would be more beneficial for working out. You might feel less tired too, firstly if you shorten you r training sessions and secondly if you sonsume less carbs beforehand.


Try a carb/protein meal pre-workout. Studies show that consuming protein prior to working out increases protein synthesis significantly more than taking protein after working out.


BTW - sugar (as in the sugar in Surge), is carbohydrate.

Try this recipe before working out. I make it using low-fat ingredients, and I don't use the peanut butter or coconut milk, but if you find the extra calories are helpful, they'll be great additions. (Also, the fat in coconut milk burns fast, like a carb, so you can consider it a carb):

Iced Cottage Custard

1 tub cottage cheese
750 ml (1 large tub) plain yogurt
2 ripe bananas
2 Tbsp peanut butter (more if you want)
1/2 cup coconut milk
Stevia/splenda/sugar (to taste)
Vanilla extract (to taste)

?Put cottage cheese, peanut butter and bananas in food processor, and process until smooth.
?Add yogurt, sweetener, coconut milk, vanilla. Blend it again.
?Eat it like a custard over fruit/granola/whatever, or freeze it.
?If you freeze it, periodically stir it as it freezes ? you?ll need to let it thaw a bit before eating.
?Try adding extracts of maple, coffee, lemon, rum (with raisins), etc.


There was an excellent article by Berardi a couple of weeks ago, highlighting elite athletes who train hard for long periods of time -all the time.
It was a practical demonstration that acute minor hormonal fluctuations don't mean anything outside of a lab.

This point has been needed for years.

I agree with the food suggestion. We can't digest and absorb that much rice in 1h.


Well sugar is a carbohydrate but does that make us treat it like any other carb without sugar? I don't know. And, how many fewer carbs and increased protein is recommended for optimal performance? Like, what ratio? Also, I can't make those concoctions since I'm at college without access to all those ingredients so I need something pretty simple. Thanks!


Would a solid plan for pre-workout meal be rice (86g carbs) 1 hr before workout, and then scoop of whey protein powder at some point? (not sure when though). any ideas?





You need to do what works best for you. As a general rule you workout 2 hours after a meal and 1 hour after a snack. Calorically, I don't know what=what, but if you use common sense you'll be find. There is no 'perfect' thing to do at an exactly perfect time.
Don't get so caught up in the small stuff.

Eat some carbs and protein prior to working out. Eat some carbs when done. Eat a good solid meal an hour or2 after. If your overall nutrition is pretty good, that's the most important thing.


I understand. I just want to make sure that my plan makes sense of having whey 1 hr prior to my workout along with my rice. I just don't know if it'll absorb in time.


not sure about the exact ratio, but i wouldn't worry about it, just try to get some of each. and you're right, a slower digesting carb might sustain you better through your workout than sugar (but protein will also be a huge help).

Just eat some damn cottage cheese! That's simple! If you want some more carbs, grab a banana, and smear some natural peanut butter on it. Yummy - and not too complicated. I think you'll be surprised how much longer you stay full when you mix protein and carbs.


Don't worry about absorption. If you feel like you can work out, you can. If you feel too full, wait a bit. whey and rice are both easy to digest. The combination of the two will result in each digesting a bit slower, but not too much. The fiber in the rice will keep the whey from going through you too fast, which is actually good - it'll be there throughout your workout, and be digesting when you're done, and that'll boost protein synthesis.

Don't worry too much - just eat enough, and eat clean, focus on whole, unprocessed foods for the most part, and get a balance of macros. You'll be fine.


alright, some good advice here. T-Nation ROCKS!! thanks guys. I hope itll sustain me through my workout!


Some of these Elite Athletes seem to train in amounts that beggars belief, I reckon for the average person especially who did not have optimal rest, nutrition and supplementation and a day job and kids (and a sex maniac wife) it would be different.


I always considered cottage cheese right before going out the door was a good idea, without really thinking about it. Slow digesting protein, light (in the belly) and no time to scarf it down led to that being my choice. Sometimes, without thinking, you can come up with great decisions. Eat your carbs first thing in the morning and right after your workout.