Everything that happens before the workout is classed as your Pre-Workout Nutrition Phase. The phase is all about fuelling the workout, preparing the body for the session it is about to take on. Write this down: TIMING IS IMPORTANT.
Especially when it comes to timing nutrients around a workout, there’s a little more to it than just the age old 3 meals a day… science is long past that.. let’s catch you up!
The difference of just 1 hour can literally make or break your entire day.
For the majority of people, it is optimal to keep your carbohydrate intake low pre workout in order to ensure the best response in growth hormone release during your workout as well as an increased neural-drive (high focus) leading into the session.
Carbohydrates release serotonin, the ‘happy’ hormone, but they also make most people lethargic and slow, limiting the amount of work you can do in the session, holding back your training output – the sessions will need you to be on top form.
The days of a big fat bowl of pasta to ‘Fuel the Beast’ are gone!
Regardless of whether your primary goal is muscle gain or fat loss, if you are carrying an excess of body fat (above 12% for a male / 20% or higher for a female) try to avoid consuming carbohydrates within the 3 hours leading up to the workout.
Make sure you eat a lean protein source along with a ‘quick energy’ dietary fat such as raw MCT oil or coconut oil 90 mins to 3 hours before you train rather than a big carby meal.
If your goal is maximum muscle gain (and you’re already under 12% body fat for a male / female under 20%) eat a well balanced meal of lean protein and slow-digesting carbohydrates about 3 hours pre workout.
This allows enough time for the meal to leave your stomach and enter your muscle and tissues.
Now regardless of body fat % about 1 hour (or even 30 minutes) before you train, consume another serving of protein (at this point, it’s okay to have a protein shake OR an easily-digested form of protein like egg whites or white fish, it’s your call).