What Should I Eat Before Training?

Posted December 23, 2009 in Nutrition Tip 2 Comments »
Dr. John Berardi
John Berardi

Since the late 1990’s Dr. John Berardi has published 8 scientific abstracts; 15 scientific papers and textbook chapters; presented at nearly 50 scientific, exercise, and nutrition related conferences; and published countless articles online.

His first articles at Testosterone Magazine so many years ago, provided me with the basis for everything I know about nutrition today. Now I will turn some of that knowledge over to you in the form of Nutrition Tips written by Dr. Berardi himself.

Today’s Topic – What should you eat before training?

We have known for some time now about the 20 minute post-workout nutrition window, and that we should be consuming a high GI carbohydrate drink along with 20-30 grams of whey protein isolates immediately after training. We know that this is the best way to kick-start protein synthesis post-workout, switching catabolism off and anabolism on. For this, Biotest Surge is quite possibly the best product on the planet.

One important question that still remains is, what is the best pre-workout meal?

For one thing, we know that fat should not be in the equation at all. It takes precious energy and blood to digest fat molecules, and makes us feel slow and sluggish to workout with a belly full of fat.

Over time, studies have told us that it is important to eat carbohydrates before exercise. Complex carbs give us extended energy for long endurance cardio sessions and for 45-60 minutes of intense interval and resistance training. Simple carbs give us immediate energy for short, intense, powerful muscular contractions, like we need when we sprint or lift heavy ass weights.

But what about the theory that carbohydrates stimulate insulin and that insulin blocks lypolysis (fat burning)?

I actually included that argument in response to a comment on my Werewolf Training post just yesterday. While my response pretty much holds true since I was talking about ingesting high GI carbs during the workout to prevent the body from slipping into a lypolytic state at the end of the workout, there is apparently a correct way to eat carbs pre-workout without having to worry about those carbs getting it the way of fat loss.

You have to eat those carbs with protein in order to increase the fat loss potential of your workout.

Therefore I presume that the best pre-workout meal would be some complex carbs and simple protein an hour before training, whether liquid or whole food, and then if you are primarily looking to build muscle you should sip on 1/2 a serving of Biotest Surge as you begin your training and for the duration of your training, or if you are primarily looking to burn fat your best bet would be to skip the pre-workout surge and drink water throughout your workout.

These steps seem to best maximize the availability of glycogen for energy, while increasing fat burning as much as possible through targeted pre-workout nutrition.

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The results are in: adding protein to a high carbohydrate meal before your workout, will increase fat burning during that workout, while also providing carbohydrates that are vital for energy.

But don’t take my word for it. Let’s see what JB has to say about it:

Tip: Protein/Carbs Before Exercise To Burn Fat?

“While nearly everyone nowadays knows that pre, during, and post exercise nutritional intake is critical for improving protein status and glycogen synthesis, most people fear that the ingestion of protein and carbohydrates during these times will decrease fat oxidation (burning).

Well, put simply, they’re wrong (sticking out tongue).

Studies have demonstrated that even in the presence of a relatively high carbohydrate intake (and large insulin response), the addition of protein to a carbohydrate meal can increase fat burning during exercise.

So it looks like a well-designed pre, during, and post exercise intake will not only improve protein status and glycogen resynthesis but it may actually increase fat burning. Bigger and leaner? Say it ain’t so.”

See Also

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