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Timing of Post-Workout Nutrition

Hey all. This might be a simpistic question, but I tend to obsess on this kind of thing, so here it goes:

The conventional wisdom is to get your post-workout nutrition within 30-60 minutes after working out to replenish those glycogen stores. That said, if I follow my lifting routine with 20-30 minutes of cardio (per Waterbury’s advice), should I drink my shake before or after the cardio?

Thanks in advance!

I have been wondering the same thing.

Currently I drink 1/4 at start of workout, 1/4 after WO and before cardio, and 1/2 immediately after cardio… don’t know if that’s optimum, but it seems ok.

EASY try both for a few weeks and see which works best for you and your goals.

Me, I do Pre and imediate post and save the gerbil work for seperate times. But thats me.

In your case I would opt for pre cardio as my first test. no need to chew up that hard earned LBM any more than we have to.


When do you workout?

If it’s late enough in the day where you have had the opportunity to eat before it is pretty irrelevant. The post thing and it’s exact timing is somewhat overblown in its importance.

If it were me, and this is how I do it, I just wait till I’m completely done with my workout before consuming anything except water. I don’t take the chance on stomach upset before my cardio. The 20-30 min wait will not affect your lbm. gains or retention.


If I follow a weight workout with cardio, I wait till after the cardio to down my PWO and usually finish my workout drink right before I get on the treadmill/track/bike or whatever.

IF you are diluting your PWO with enough water (per JB’s directions) you could end up with some serious bubbles in the stomach when you start running.


Depending on how much cardio you’re doing, most likely after would be best.

Also, don’t worry about 30-60 mins, soon as your done get it in your body.

I’m not doing much cardio right now and definitely not doing any on days I lift. So I can’t help in that regard.

As for pre and post WO nutrition, I drink 1/2 serving of Surge (1 scoop) before I lift, another full serving (2 scoops) immediately after I lift, a piece of fruit + 1 serving of Grow! about an hour later, then supper an hour after that (which is either chicken or beef + pasta, rice, or potatoes).

My gym now doesn’t allow it, but in the past, I drank my protien during a workout. I mixed 20g whey with fruit juice or gatorade and thinned it down with water so I didn’t get a bloated.

I made about a half gallon of this, and drank it during the course of lifting/cardio. I followed up with a MRP/creatine after I was done with everything. It worked pretty well for me.

[quote]combatmedic wrote:
My gym now doesn’t allow it, but in the past, I drank my protien during a workout. I mixed 20g whey with fruit juice or gatorade and thinned it down with water so I didn’t get a bloated.


What? Tell them to get lost. There’s no difference between you drinking that and anyone else drinking water. that’s just retarded.

Anyone remember what David Barr said…something like 50% more protein synthesis one hour after workout than immediatley after workout?

Twice as much right BEFORE the workout as right after.

Ring any bells from the Test-Fest?

So does that mean you should wait 1 hours after ending lifing to drink Surge?


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.

Thanks all! I will likely experiment a little and try pre- and post-cardio to see which sits better in my gut.