Per the recommendations of Barr and Berardi, I drink a half serving of Surge 10 minutes prior to lifting, and then another half serving (with creatine) one hour after finishing. Consequently, the servings are about two hours apart.
If I do cardio, I don't drink a shake before hand. Since cardio does little in regard to building muscle, pre-workout nutrition isn't really necessary since boosting protein synthesis isn't a concern. Avoiding food prior to energy systems work usually prevents side-aches as well. After a cardio session though, I don't wait an hour to consume my PWO shake. I have it immediately after so I can immediately curb any catabolism the cardio might have induced. This is just my system based on what works for me. As long as your getting a shake in there somewhere, and eating within two hours after finishing your workout, the rest is minutia really.