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  1. #1
    Registered User gggjones's Avatar
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    What is the best food/drink to have pre workout?

    I usually go to the gym straight from work at 5pm and am looking for a convenient pre workout food or drink that is going to supply me with energy in the gym.

    I usually have 2x bananas approx 40 mins before workout. Is there anything else I should have in addition or in stead?

    Are caffeine drinks extremely useful? E.g. Coffee, energy drink?

    Are isotonic sport drinks like Lucozade sport beneficial?

    Or should I have a chocolate bar etc. for extra sugars?


    I'm not keen on the idea of a pre workout supplement as I believe once I start I will never get off them (placebo effect!).

    Any nutritional advice would be great. I'm looking to maximise my energy in the gym with convenient foods or drinks.
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    There is no "ideal". It's whatever works best for you, what makes you feel the best and perform the best. Some people do better with a little food and caffeine, some do better fasting.
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    Registered User gggjones's Avatar
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    I'm currently bulking whilst following stronglifts 5x5.

    I get most of my calories through snacks throughout the day and don't really have a 'big' lunch at midday that would set my up for lots of energy in the gym after work (~6pm).

    So I'm looking for something to boost my energy levels an hour before I go to the gym
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    Originally Posted by gggjones View Post
    I usually go to the gym straight from work at 5pm and am looking for a convenient pre workout food or drink that is going to supply me with energy in the gym.

    I usually have 2x bananas approx 40 mins before workout. Is there anything else I should have in addition or in stead?

    Are caffeine drinks extremely useful? E.g. Coffee, energy drink?

    Are isotonic sport drinks like Lucozade sport beneficial?

    Or should I have a chocolate bar etc. for extra sugars?


    I'm not keen on the idea of a pre workout supplement as I believe once I start I will never get off them (placebo effect!).

    Any nutritional advice would be great. I'm looking to maximise my energy in the gym with convenient foods or drinks.
    If you're hungry at that time, just eat a small regular meal; there's no set rule. Some people like to train in a fasted state; try that and see how it goes for you.
    No brain, no gain.

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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by gggjones View Post

    So I'm looking for something to boost my energy levels an hour before I go to the gym
    Some kind of bland CHO 1-2 hrs pre w/o seems to do it for me

    YMMV

    Rice, pasta, oatmeal etc
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    For me personally, a liquid option works best (I get reflux pretty bad)... my go-to is whey + 1-1.5 frozen bananas + spinach + almond milk + cinnamon.... depending on how close I am to lifting, I might add more bananas or even some quick oats...
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    Originally Posted by gggjones View Post
    Are caffeine drinks extremely useful? E.g. Coffee, energy drink?
    Caffeine can increase performance but it can also interfere with sleep.
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    I am currently using a preworkout, but when I stopped using stim products my preworkout meal would be Oatmeal + whey ~1hr prior to working out.

    I found that helped provide me with enough energy to get through a workout. The timing and amount of food will vary from person to person.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    Caffeine can increase performance but it can also interfere with sleep.
    Personally, i try not to sleep at the gym. Really affects my workouts(negatively), not to mention upsetting the workers.
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    Originally Posted by desslok View Post
    Personally, i try not to sleep at the gym. Really affects my workouts(negatively), not to mention upsetting the workers.
    I love sleeping in between sets personally.

    Anyway, loading up on caffeine before a 5 PM workout can easily interfere with sleep at night.
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  11. #11
    Protein bar nightcap? desslok's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Mrpb View Post
    I love sleeping in between sets personally.

    Anyway, loading up on caffeine before a 5 PM workout can easily interfere with sleep at night.
    What I find interesting is my caffeine sensitivity has changed as i’ve gotten older. I used to be able to drink coffee all day whenever and never affected my sleep. Now it does if I drink it too late, but only if I have had more than isual sleep the night before. I usually sleep about 5 - 5.5 hours per night and i can drink coffee at 10pm and fall right asleep at 11 no problem. But if I sleep 8 hours (weekends) and habe coffee after 5pm i lie in bed for 30 minutes before i can fall asleep.
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    Originally Posted by desslok View Post
    What I find interesting is my caffeine sensitivity has changed as i’ve gotten older. I used to be able to drink coffee all day whenever and never affected my sleep. Now it does if I drink it too late, but only if I have had more than isual sleep the night before. I usually sleep about 5 - 5.5 hours per night and i can drink coffee at 10pm and fall right asleep at 11 no problem. But if I sleep 8 hours (weekends) and habe coffee after 5pm i lie in bed for 30 minutes before i can fall asleep.
    Interesting. My sleeping pattern has some similarities. I naturally only sleep 5.5 - 6 hours, but if I 'force' myself to go back to sleep it will be like 8 hours total. On the shorter sleep I fall asleep much quicker, even without caffeine I notice the difference.

    I'm a slow caffeine metabolizer (genetic test said so). Coffee after 14:00 is generally a bad idea for me, even if I had short sleep I believe. But it's been ages since I've tried to have caffeine later.
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    Originally Posted by gggjones View Post
    I usually go to the gym straight from work at 5pm and am looking for a convenient pre workout food or drink that is going to supply me with energy in the gym.

    I usually have 2x bananas approx 40 mins before workout. Is there anything else I should have in addition or in stead?

    Are caffeine drinks extremely useful? E.g. Coffee, energy drink?

    Are isotonic sport drinks like Lucozade sport beneficial?

    Or should I have a chocolate bar etc. for extra sugars?


    I'm not keen on the idea of a pre workout supplement as I believe once I start I will never get off them (placebo effect!).

    Any nutritional advice would be great. I'm looking to maximise my energy in the gym with convenient foods or drinks.
    Whatever feels best for you is what works well. If you like the bananas, stick to that. A lot of people suggest eating carbs from non-fructose sources, such as oats, brown rice, etc. before a workout for straight glucose/slower digesting carbohydrates.

    As far as caffeine drinks, I always feel like coffee helps.
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  14. #14
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    I really like waffles.

    Eat what you enjoy and tolerate based on time to digest prior to workout.
    Create the opportunity
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    the black out chacha15's Avatar
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    add peanut butter to your bananas
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  16. #16
    I love my power hour MrCarrot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by chacha15 View Post
    add peanut butter to your bananas
    No right or wrong answer, but that's exactly what I have, banana coated in peanut butter
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