Ask The Ripped Dude: How Should I Handle My Pre- And Post-Workout Nutrition?
What are the best practices for pre- and post-workout nutrition? I still don't know what I should be eating and why!
Well, if you go by what Hulk Hogan famously said, all you need for physique success are prayers, weights, and vitamins. He's right in a sense, but he was missing one crucial aspect: pre- and post-workout nutrition.
You need to consume the right meals before and after you train so you have the energy to get through a strenuous workout and the proper nutrients for muscle growth and fat burn. Nutrition, as it turns out, is 80 percent of the ripped-body battle.
Optimizing your workout nutrition improves your workouts, repairs your muscles, and builds or maintains muscle mass efficiently. If you're not exactly sure what you should be putting on your plate or in your shaker bottle, the following guidelines will help.
Pre and post Workout Meals
- Reduce muscle protein breakdown
- Reduce glycogen depletion
- Reduce post-workout cortisol levels
- Reduce muscle soreness and fatigue
- Reduce muscle protein breakdown
- Replenish depleted
- Increases overall muscle protein synthesis
In order to crush a tough workout, you need fuel. Food is your fuel. Before you hit the iron, make sure you get in a meal of good carbs and protein.
Top nutrition and fitness expert Alan Aragon suggests consuming a pre-workout meal 60-90 minutes before training. He also advises that your meal should consist of 0.25 grams of protein and carbs per pound of your target bodyweight. Your protein sources can come from chicken, turkey, fish, beef, and egg whites. For complex carbs, eat low-glycemic-index foods such as oatmeal or brown rice.
The post-workout meal helps your body repair and replenish itself after breaking down the muscles. After training, your body is ready to accept the carbs and proteins needed to grow.
Aragon says you should consume a liquid or solid meal 30-60 minutes after you train. In other words, if you don't have a post-workout shake immediately after your last set, you'll still be able to meet your goals. He also recommends eating a meal with 0.25 grams of protein and 0.25-0.5 grams of carbs per pound of your target bodyweight.
Make Fuel Your Friend
If your body has the energy to do hard work, you'll find that your workouts are more successful and your recovery is faster. Don't believe me? Experiment! Play with your pre- and post-workout nutrition to see how your body reacts.
If your bench press max goes up after you haven't eaten all day, I'll eat my words.
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You and me know this but there is so much misinformation out there that people believe, that articles like these need to be written.
Sometimes, the reiteration of information is just as valuable as the introduction of information. How do you know that there is not a first timer logging on to the website seeking information? Don't be so close minded just because it's something you've heard and/or applied before. This website isn't all about you. Have a good one!!
Our content runs the gamut from beginner/basic to advanced by design. Everyone's at a unique point in their fitness trajectory. Thanks a million for reading and writing.
Based on your body stats, doesn't really seem like you know this. Or is it just every other meal besides the pre and post workout meals that you get wrong?
This wasn't "general info" to me. I'm a newbie and had no clue how I'm supposed to be eating.
Thanks for a good explanation of how one should be supplementing pre/ post- workout nutrition.
It was helpful to me. I'm new to this stuff and still trying to weed through a lot of the conflicting information.
It would help if you expounded on your statement of x number of carbs and protein for the guy or gal that's not accustomed to measuring something like that out; as in this equals this much food. Otherwise many become frustrated trying to figure all the science out and give up
Everybody has different levels of knowledge in terms of nutrition and training so what one person may know another person may not know.
The basis of this article that I wrote is to let people know the importance of pre workout and post workout meals and then give a general basis on what would be the average grams amount of macronutrients in each post or pre-workout meal.
By the way that quoted statement by Alan Aragon is not ink in terms of how much you should consume. A lot of it is a trial and error process as you have to figure out how much carbs and proteins makes sense for your body-type before you train and after you train.
Good Luck to everybody and thanks to everybody taking the time to read this article!
I appreciate you writing the article. As a beginner, it's hard to sort through the forums to find important information like this...as basic as it may be.
Thanks for posting. This is very helpful.
I follow the same guidelines for post workout. Pre-workout however is a challenge because I workout at 5:30AM. Since I wake up at 5, that only gives me 30 minutes for a pre-workout supplement (N.O.Xplode). Is this sufficient or am I missing out on necessary nutrients?
Thanks for the article but I have a question. Do I eat .25g of Carbs/lb and .25 g of protein/lb preworkout or is a combination to equal .25g/lb total? You said in the article target body weight. So I need to eat according to 170lbs instead of 140lbs? I also felt weaker this workout than previous workouts because it was too much to digest in 90 minutes. My body seemed to be working on digestion more than building muscle.
I've eaten 2 hours before a workout once or twice and I was bloated and stuffed. If you're eating 30 to 40 grams of protein and carbs combined 90 minutes (let alone 60!) before a workout then you must have a digestive system from an another planet.
I read that one should have a shake 20 minutes prior to a workout, but I'm trying to learn what ratio... I think the food amounts here are right, but not the timing. No offense, but I think this athlete is not going to give you his REAL secrets - he is competing with his rivals, after all.
I eat an hour before. My metabolism is very fast now though, I am eating every 2 - 2.5 hours for a total of 7 meals a day. I also do a shake 20-30 min before for some aminos during the workout.
I've made the best gains, since post college football, that I've ever made following lean gains protocol for intermittent fasting and have taken my workouts to the next level. Of course, not everything works for everyone and you have to listen to your body. Just because this plan works for the author doesn't mean it will work for you. Read w an open mind and use your critical thinking skills. Keep researching keep pushing and keep growing.