Time to discuss Pre and Post Workout Nutrition, otherwise known as Peri Workout Nutrition!
What’s considered (current!) best practice and just how important is it?
There were so many blog posts on this subject from people we respect in the industry that we went through to bring it down to these excellent entries and, as if often the case with nutrition, there’s a few differences of opinion here.
When we’re talking about pre and post workout nutrition, we’re usually discussing weight training (and sometimes short conditioning) workouts where mass gain and fat loss are the two main goals. Resistance based work in some capacity at the very least is always on the table!
This post delves deeper, making suggestions with good reasoning for different approaches based on your clients’ current physiques, goals and type of training they perform. Plenty of ideas and inspiration to be found here.
Robb Wolf wrote this all the way back in 2009, delving into what he considers the best general approach for Post Workout Nutrition based on health, performance and longevity. It’s all very sensible, including ideas similar to Carb Nite.
If you don’t know that particular set of principles, the general gist is low carb with a carb refeed every week or so, usually best eaten after a hard resistance based training workout. The biggest difference would be, obviously if you know anything about his work, Robb prefers a “cleaner” approach to his carb intake.
The Poliquin Group deliver this comprehensive article on how to drop bodyfat and gain muscle successively, whatever your starting point, gender or age, before talking a little about general protein and carbohydrate needs, what foods to avoid and what to ingest pre and post workout.
A very useful reminder post indeed. I want to also share their short post “Avoid Pitfalls to Post-Workout Nutrition” here as well, as it goes a little further into post workout nutrition and the benefits of certain amino acids (spoilers: Leucine).
Lyle McDonald with a couple of posts I wanted to include
The first is a short discussion on pre vs post workout nutrition, the second a research review on protein amount and post workout protein synthesis.
Basically, does ingesting more protein make you put on more muscle? The results, in so far as they go for the study, are clear: yes. But also, as always, there’s so much more we need to look at, in so many other contexts, before any complete conclusions could ever be drawn up.
Read the articles here:
Pre- vs. Post-Workout Nutrition – Q&A
Protein Amount and Post Workout Protein Synthesis – Research Review
Kiefer with another research review, which looks pretty damning for pre-workout carbs in your diet. He’s definitely a strong advocate of macronutrient timing, primarily based around resistance training.
This post gels well with Martin Berkhan‘s post back in 2009 (Pre-Workout Protein Boosts Metabolism), with more reasoning as to why you don’t want carbs pre workout.
For what it’s worth, with my own personal experience of years as a trainer, I’ve seen the best results for myself and with my clients when following a macronutrient timed diet, along with intermittent fasting. Different variations of IF, as well as Carb Nite and Carb Backloading, were protocols tried out by many, usually with great success. As always, make sure you get your clients to do small micro-experiments to see what works best for them.