T Nation

Supplements/Food After HIIT?

So, I am on a cutting diet and I tro to do HIIT for 20-40 min about 3-4 x week which leaves me spent after.
I also do pretty hard/fast walking up and down steep hills at a brisk (4 mph) pace for about 60 minutes a few x week.

I am wondering if HIIT and or walking w sprints/running up hills etc require post workout meals to stop catabolism from starting. If so, what should I drink or eat?

Please keep in mind I am trying to lose fat. I am still lifting but not interested in gaining mass but don’t really understand where the catabolic state will take effect - from my largest mass? (legs? all over?)

I am 42 yo
5’8"
180 LBs
15% BF trying to get down to 9-10% BF.

Thanks - And is doing cardio on empty stomach REALLY a difference maker? I do it after a physical job so I am hungry and want some energy but also don’t want to be stuffed/bloated from a big drink.

I have a protein shake (with water), and a banana immediatley after my track sessions, then a high carb meal within two hours. Fat loss isn’t my aim, but I definitely don’t gain weight doing this.

Is that a low carb diet? Either way, but especially if it is, that frequency/duration of HIIT and you will be losing muscle. My understanding was to treat HIIT as a workout with respect to nutrition, meaning you should definately have a PWO drink, since it is a glycogen burning activity. I don’t know how you could do that 4 times a week in a caloric defecit and not be getting a lot weaker though. How long have you been keeping this schedule, and what kind progress are you making in the weight room?

I was wondering the exact same thing myself, OP. I am transitioning off the v-diet now, and was wondering how I could work in some HIIT.

I was also thinking about doing a strategic deconditioning (for HST) since I have been lifting non-stop for, oh, 5 months now. I usually follow HST pretty strictly, and it has done very well for me.

But I am kind of scared to do an SD along with HIIT on a low-carb v-diet transition. Feels like it might be too much at once.

I was doing a low carb, but recently took on a construction job to get some more physical activity and I really suffered in strength. I am adding some carbs in order to be able to both work out and work at job.

As far as gains in the gym, I am not trying to make any at all. I am trying to keep my strength which I am able to do.
My main interest is cutting fat w zero interest in adding mass right now.

So…is the above cardio going to eat muscle?
What should I eat / drink before?
I am going to be doing this after an 8 hr day of physical labor so should I have anything small before?

what is PWO?

First post - hooray or whatever.

PWO = Post-Workout.

Surge is a great post-workout recovery drink.

I am on a low-carb plan (the AD) and holding at 45 g/day. I was doing 3 sessions of HIIT per week for 20 minutes. The way I was working it was no more than one hour after a protein shake or no more than two hours after a solid meal. I personally got weaker and quit it. I do MAYBE one session per week now.

You say you’re not interested in gaining muscle, that’s understandable. It’s kinda hard to do on a cutting phase. However, the vibe I’m getting from you is that you flat-out don’t care. I hope that isn’t true. Muscle mass can be one of the most valuable factors in your struggle to lose body fat.

So, I guess what I’m saying is that -
1.) HIIT was very catabolic for me, be wary.
2.) Don’t neglect your muscles just because you don’t want to gain mass right now.

Surge.

I’m trying to lean out a bit as well, so on days where it’s just energy system work (HIIT, light circuits, etc.) I take 20 BCAA tablets (10 pre w/o, 10 post), and then eat dinner after I’m finished. So far this seems to be working well.