T Nation

PWO Digestion


My nutrition textbook talks a lot about digestion, and it is a very long and complicated process. It takes hours and hours for a food to be digested and utilized, as it must go through the stomach all the way to the small intestine then be absorbed and transported, etc. Liquids can take even longer, b/c they must make their way all the way to the large intestine.

My question is regarding PWO whey. I sip on a BCAA/Glutamine mix pre, during and post workout (about 30g of each, total), and lately I don't see much of a point in having a scoop of whey post workout, because it will take hours to digest anyway. I understand that post carbs are different, because of the insulin response, but I'm following an Anabolic Diet and I don't take in carbs. So, how important, really, is the pwo whey?


Even though it takes hours to "fully" digest, it's not like you eat something and poof it magically appears in your bloodstream all at once 3 hours later. Whenever you eat something, protein shake for example, your amino acid blood level will rise, peak, and then taper off. It may take hours for it to finish tapering off, but it will peak much sooner than that, especially with whey.

Keep drinking a protein shake you schmuk, you didnt reinvent the wheel based on some shit you read in a high school text book.


I don't eat at all anymore because it takes too long to digest.


Lol at schmuk. I'm trying to save money and feel that bcaa/glutamine would be sufficient, but wanted some feedback.


PWO whey is more important than the BCAAs and far more important than the gluatmine. Glutamine is a waste of money imo. If you're trying to save money, lose that first.

Any sugary drink is a perfectly good substitute for BCAAs for a workout drink. Even easier is to eat a big fat ass carb meal an hour or so before you lift, like pasta or rice. All you're trying to do is keep your insulin up so your body doesn't use muscle to fuel the workout.


One day I overheard the biggest guy in my gym 20+" arms talking to his friend...They were discussing what restaurant they were going to eat at after training....they decided on outback steakhouse...I asked him if they always ate out after training, and he told me thats how he got that big....he then proceeeded to do skullcrushers with 2 45s on each side...

I felt like an idiot with my waxy maize and leucine drink...

I realized that day...everything that i had read about nutrition(especially from this site) was most likely a lie...


I have read Ronnie Coleman used to have a big steak dinner after his training sessions. That doesn't mean that supplementing with fast carbs and protein sources around your workouts is wrong, it just means that not every big guy does it.

If you thought you HAD to have waxy maize and BCAAs around your workout to be able to make any progress then you were wrong. But these supplements can make a difference and if it helps you make better progress then that is all that matters.


well after reading alan aragon's thoughts on the subject...I don't think it matters...


i like this thread! I agree that minutia can get in the way of progress. The reason I have a bcaa/glutamine mix instead of simple carbs is b/c I'm doing an anabolic diet. along the lines of the AD, during training it's recommended to have said mix, as that can/is sufficient to spike insulin enough to spare muscle. I'm just wondering if the whey is crucial right away, or if I can wait an hour or so and have lunch or whatever


And do you have any other information on what this individual ate or drank the other 23 hours of that day,.. each day of the week, or even years before when he actually built most of his size? -lol. I've had idiot kids at my gym see me walk in to say hi when I'm taking a break, while eating a damn donut. When they ask I tell them that the chocolate glazed have a much higher Leucine content, so they should always make their decisions intelligently.

Besides,.. you do realize that food is the most anabolic of all 'supplements' right? Even if you are taking a well thought out supplement protocol, if you're not eating enough (or the right choices), you will never make the progress you're trying for.

And for the record, I wouldn't put too much faith in anything Aragon says, I've never seen an 'expert' with more of a need to rile feathers, and get get himself attention.



If i saw you eating a donut and protein shake pwo, i would understand that...i would think this guy is trying to spike his insulin...

But this goes beyond that...it's the fact that this guy is getting his leucine from the steak he is eating and the carbs from the french fries...

this guy isn't a "bodybuilder"..He doesn't seem like the type to know much about conventional bodybuilding nutrition from the conversations I had with him...I don't know for sure obviously, but I really doubt he is obesseing over his diet....


as for aragon, i don't blindly follow people...you need to convince me...

he has put up solid research and logic to support his ideas....unlike his opposistion...


Uhm, what kind of solid research and complicated logic do you need to grow muscles? Serious question.


Thanks for stopping in. I actually got the info about PWO on the AD from coach Thibs, but yeah, I agree that what has worked once will work again - ...not reinventing the wheel. I've noticed that FOR ME, I can build muscle and put on size reasonably without carbs. Ive been gaining about 1-2 pounds per week, and when that stops, I'll add 500 cals or so...Nothing too complicated.

I used to be a Shugart guy, and after I V-Dieted, I would eat < 2000cal a day and run after lifting LOL. I got NOWHERE. So I'm eating around 3500 cals a day and gaining at a pretty good rate. I'm still pretty small, with some okay thickness, at 188 pounds dry in the morning. I'm also 6 foot 2, and I plan on getting up to around 225-240. I changed my mind completely about getting soft after talking with Stu and reading "Sloh's Three Year Offseason." Also, I realized that since I'm in college, I'm in my prime and still have the time/hormones to optimally play around with my body!

Thanks again guys.


Are you currently drinking a High GI carb drink PWO?

DO you avoid certain carbs?

do you take any supplements? why do you take them? How do you know they work?

do you eat 6-7x a day instead of 3-4x....Why?

Have you ever taken high amounts of fish oil for fat loss?

Do you think taking extra L-leucine throughout your day will increase your ability to gain muscle beyond what would normally occur on a high protein diet?

They real question is....Why aren't you looking for the objective truth bro?


if you eat a pre workout meal, you insulin levels are already elevated pwo and for awhile after that...so you don't need to spike insulin immediately pwo as it is already elevated...

there is no need to immediately replenish glycogen because you did not deplete your glycogen stores doing bodybuilding type training...

do you understand why this stuff is relevant?


You see, I'm agreeing with you...I just don't see why you had to do a bunch of research to figure it out, and why you have such a strong opinion on it?

And YES, those things do make a difference once you reach a certain level of development and your diet is in check. Read Synergy93's thread, he has his body down to a science.


you are misconstruing things....I'm aware that eating a lot of food and progressively lifting heavier weights will build muscle...I've known that since I started training at 16 yrs old...I'm not even discussing that...

Maybe you are not at the level were you are thinking about how to maximize your performance...I already have my diet dialed in, and I'm interested in enhancing my performance in anyway possible...I thought that is why people posted on here(to look for ways to enhance their physique)....


Huh. I guess i took your "well after reading alan aragon's thoughts on the subject...I don't think it matters..." kind of threw me off.

Also, you saying that most of the things you read about nutrition on here were a lie...

Guess it was just me, carry on then.


When I talked to the biggest guy in my gym that day, I realized that drinking bcaa and waxy maize were not increasing my performance beyond his lack of methods....

the only reason i would ever buy bcaa and waxy maize is because I thought I would enhance my performance beyond what is normal with a regular diet...i don't buy expensive supps to look cool...

4 yrs ago, i came on here and JB was claiming that you needed to spike insulin amd replenish glycogen PWO to halt muscle catabolism....I bought into that idea and so did a lot of other guys...

I come to find out that a lot of what JB claimed was untrue....He misinterpretated studies to support his ideas...Interestingly enough, I checked the archives on tnation and there was a guy named Bobo who knew this before everyone...he even argued against aragon(who was in favor of high GI back then).....


I'm interested in finding out the truth...