View Full Version : Pre Workout Meal

Matthieu Hertilus
03-01-2009, 01:59 PM
I've recently read about the benefits of a bcaa/creatine combo drink as a pre workout "meal." Since I am someone who likes early morning workouts because I work later on that same morning, would it be a bad idea to have a bcaa/creatine drink upon waking up before I go to the gym since I don't have the time to eat breakfast and let that digest? (i.e. would i be saying farewell to the muscle I'm trying to keep while trimming down?) Any thoughts on that question, bcaa/cratine drinks in general/ and pre workout nutrition would be very helpful. Thank You.

Steven Low
03-01-2009, 02:15 PM
Okay let's think about this...

What do BCAA and creatine do?

So why do you think you would "lose" muscle mass again?

Kevin Perry
03-01-2009, 02:26 PM
skip breakfast.... eat more bacon

Matthieu Hertilus
03-01-2009, 04:25 PM
I thought after fasting all night from sleeping, further delaying a meal + exercising might be catabolic

Dave Van Skike
03-01-2009, 04:35 PM
I thought after fasting all night from sleeping, further delaying a meal + exercising might be catabolic


you'll be fine.

Todd Mccraw
03-03-2009, 06:18 AM
I feel that if you are training hard enough, it's like a signal to your body to retain it's muscle regardless of your food intake. Now this could be taken to extremes, but I mean in moderation.

Everybody is different, and you have to find what works best for you. Experiment a little, and record what's happening. Also remember that as you progress, your body changes and you may have to add or take away things. I know this sounds generic, but I have food logs and body stats from years ago, and it makes it easier for me to go back and see what I felt worked for me at certain times, and what didn't.

But for peace of mind, you could try the BCAA's and Creatine during your workout. I will do this sometimes if I take my calories lower than normal. About halfway through, I start sipping on it and finish it with my workout.

Then I have my normal meal at the next time.

Greg Davis
03-03-2009, 06:55 AM
The only way I would worry about that is if you were desperately trying to gain weight.

Mike ODonnell
03-03-2009, 07:15 AM
If you are doing hard strength training (and not cardio stuff), some aminos pre-workout or even during can't hurt....and may be better than pwo drinks for increased recovery purposes. It's a blood flow thing.

Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise.
Tipton KD, Rasmussen BB, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Owens-Stovall SK, Petrini BE, Wolfe RR.

Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77550, USA. ktipton@utmb.edu

The present study was designed to determine whether consumption of an oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement (EAC) before exercise results in a greater anabolic response than supplementation after resistance exercise. Six healthy human subjects participated in two trials in random order, PRE (EAC consumed immediately before exercise), and POST (EAC consumed immediately after exercise). A primed, continuous infusion of L-[ring-(2)H(5)]phenylalanine, femoral arteriovenous catheterization, and muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were used to determine phenylalanine concentrations, enrichments, and net uptake across the leg. Blood and muscle phenylalanine concentrations were increased by approximately 130% after drink consumption in both trials. Amino acid delivery to the leg was increased during exercise and remained elevated for the 2 h after exercise in both trials. Delivery of amino acids (amino acid concentration times blood flow) was significantly greater in PRE than in POST during the exercise bout and in the 1st h after exercise (P < 0.05). Total net phenylalanine uptake across the leg was greater (P = 0.0002) during PRE (209 +/- 42 mg) than during POST (81 +/- 19). Phenylalanine disappearance rate, an indicator of muscle protein synthesis from blood amino acids, increased after EAC consumption in both trials. These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of an EAC solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids to the leg.

Steven Low
03-03-2009, 08:37 AM
Summarizing everything + adding a few:

1. [strength/metcon] workouts are muscle retaining

2. BCAAs stimulate anabolic response

3. "Catabolic" states are overrated. Unless you're not getting enough food to maintain muscle mass you'll generally keep it.

4. Fasting is FINE for muscle mass... as long as you get good quality cals. Take a look at the intermittent fasting forum...

5. There is also the fact to consider that SLEEP IS THE MOST ANABOLIC TIME for the body. The "fast" during the night is not as important as the increase in hormones flowing around which allow your body's tissues to repair themselves... hence why ditching sleep messes up your recovery badly. Sleep itself, even with the fast, is not catabolic.

As I said in another thread...

TBH the whole anabolic/catabolic thing is overblown. People worry more about this stuff than actually WORKING HARD DURING WORKOUTS... which is what is going to make the most difference in performance and body composition (provided quality diet choices).

Matthieu Hertilus
03-06-2009, 10:04 AM
Wow, I really appreciate all the info you gives have been iving me. Lately I haven't worried so much about the whole catabolic state in the morning/ 5-6 meal per day/ stuffing your face full of carbs hogwash that I thik the bodybuilding world tries to promote. Lately I've been sticking to even more vegetables, fruits and good fats (cocunut, whole milk and whole eggs from grass fed sources) and I feel fantastic. I've just been letting my body tell me when I'm hungry and other times I've been taking bcaa/creatine combo drinks (particularly pre and post workout). Thanks again for the info.

Mike ODonnell
03-06-2009, 11:33 AM
you may enjoy this as well:

Diet Fallacy #2: Eating Before Exercising will provide your muscles with instant energy

Ori Hofmekler
author of The Warrior Diet

Exposed: The Top Ten Diet Fallacies -
And The Truth to Set You Free

Diet Fallacy #2. EATING BEFORE EXERCISING will provide your muscles with instant energy

Many people assume that the human body operates like a machine and therefore in order to work, it needs to be fueled liked a machine. Eating before exercise seems to make sense. But does it really?

As you'll soon realize, the idea that pre-exercise meals provide the muscle with instant energy is literally wrong, often misleading and counter effective.

In order to provide the muscle with nutrients and energy, food must be first fully digested. During digestion food is broken down into smaller compounds, yielding molecules of amino acids, fatty acids and glucose which are transferred to the body's tissues through the circulatory system. The digestion elimination process, that occurs in the stomach, intestines, liver and kidneys, respectively, requires substantial amounts of energy. During digestion, blood flow shifts from the brain and muscles to the inside organs (responsible for digestion and elimination). That shift in the blood flow profoundly affects the brain and muscle tissues, lowing their capacity to perform and resist fatigue.

The question remains: "What about meals that require almost no digestion?" such as those made from fast assimilating nutrients. (Note that fat is a slow digested and assimilated nutrient compared to protein and carbs.)

Consuming a pre-exercise meal made from a blend of fast releasing proteins and carbs (such as whey and sugar), looks initially quite appealing. In theory such meals would nourish the muscle tissues with amino acids and glucose to inhibit muscle breakdown, while providing instant energy. It all makes sense, but even so, in real life, things often work differently than in theory.

Recent studies demonstrated that eating fast releasing foods before or during exercise could be counter effective, to say the least. Investigators in the school of sport and exercise science, University of Birmingham, Edgbastion, England found that ingestion of carbs before exercise adversely elevated plasma cortisol levels. Interestingly enough, there was a significant reduction in post exercise cortisol when carbs were not ingested before exercise. Furthermore, there was a faster shift from carb to fat fueling during exercise, when a pre-exercise meal was not applied.

As for protein, what failed to reach mainstream nutrition knowledge is the already established fact that protein rich foods raise cortisol levels if applied incorrectly. Studies at the University of Lubeck, in Germany, found that oral administration of fast releasing protein foods such as hydrolyzed (pre-digested) proteins, have an even more profound cortisol elevating effect, compared to whole protein foods.

Note that chronic elevated cortisol has been associated with muscle wasting and fat gain (in particular abdominal fat.)

In summary, pre-exercise meals may rob the brain and muscle of energy (due to digestion). Eliminating the digestion effect of pre-exercise meals may only make things worse. Eating meals made from fast releasing proteins and cabs, before exercise, can cause a profound cortisol elevating effect during and after exercise. This may severely compromise ones ability to build muscle and burn fat.

In conclusion, DO NOT EAT before exercise, instead eat right after exercise.

Ironically, the same meal that would be counter-effective before exercise can be most effective and beneficial when applied after exercise.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the critical positive effects of post-exercise recovery meals on total muscle recuperation (i.e. replenishment of energy reserves and increased protein synthesis). Recent studies at the University of Texas Medical Branch, in Galveston, TX, revealed that applying fast releasing proteins and carbs after exercise had substantial anabolic effect on stimulating net muscle protein synthesis, even in cases of elevated cortisol.

Consequently, we are not preprogrammed to be fueled like machines. Our biological machine is based on survival mechanisms that when triggered, increase our capacity to utilize fuel, generate energy and better survive.

We trigger these mechanisms, when we follow cycles that rotate between undereating while in an action followed by eating while in rest.

For the human body, timing affects everything. "It is when you eat that makes what you eat matter."