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    Registered User Neely47's Avatar
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    How important is preworkout meal for building muscle?

    Or is it a matter of personal preference? I usually like weightlifting early morning usually starting at 5am or 5:30am. I sometimes notice I can feel no energy if I don't eat anything before hand and I don't feel motivated at the gym at all. Would it be a good idea to eat a preworkout meal beforehand? Since this is early morning, it might be tricky to consume a preworkout meal. How many minutes before workout would you suggest to eat? What should preworkout meal consist beforehand in terms of carbs, protein and fat ratio? Thank you.
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    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Overall energy balance and protein intake matter more than meal timing.
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    Registered User bLinkMoore's Avatar
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    It's mostly just helpful for performance. I can normally hit bench alright on an empty stomach, but unless I've eaten in the last hour any squat or deadlift session is gonna absolutely suck.

    Meal timing isn't incredibly important, but it never hurts to spread calories throughout the day.
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    Registered User paulinkansas's Avatar
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    You also have the glycemic index to deal with. Think of drinking a soda and a candy bar vs eating a steak, both about 30 minutes before working out.
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    Originally Posted by Neely47 View Post
    Or is it a matter of personal preference? I usually like weightlifting early morning usually starting at 5am or 5:30am. I sometimes notice I can feel no energy if I don't eat anything before hand and I don't feel motivated at the gym at all. Would it be a good idea to eat a preworkout meal beforehand? Since this is early morning, it might be tricky to consume a preworkout meal. How many minutes before workout would you suggest to eat? What should preworkout meal consist beforehand in terms of carbs, protein and fat ratio? Thank you.
    I usually work out first thing in a morning before work. I'll have a quick coffee then do my workout and eat breakfast after. I like to eat something rich in carbs the night before i work out. Just keep things simple like rhadam said. Daily total is much more important
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    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    You also have the glycemic index to deal with. Think of drinking a soda and a candy bar vs eating a steak, both about 30 minutes before working out.
    GI/GL really isn't important for subjects who aren't a special population.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    It’s personal preference as far as meal timing. Some guys like a pre workout meal an hour or 2 before training and some prefer not to. If your glycogen is fairly full then a pre workout isn't really necessary unless you want one for whatever reason.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by paulinkansas View Post
    You also have the glycemic index to deal with. Think of drinking a soda and a candy bar vs eating a steak, both about 30 minutes before working out.
    unless you’re diabetic it’s pretty much a non issue. GI is over rated in healthy individuals.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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    REMAIN INDOORS SuffolkPunch's Avatar
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    I personally feel fine training in an overnight fasted state, it might just be a question of allowing yourself time to adapt to that routine.

    You could try eating a banana as soon as you wake up - leaving about 30 mins or more before reaching the gym and starting to work out. See if that helps.
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    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SuffolkPunch View Post
    I personally feel fine training in an overnight fasted state, it might just be a question of allowing yourself time to adapt to that routine.

    You could try eating a banana as soon as you wake up - leaving about 30 mins or more before reaching the gym and starting to work out. See if that helps.
    Once i switched to fasted morning (or afternoon depending on my shift) training i don't see myself ever switching. Definitely a personal preference.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rhadam View Post
    Once i switched to fasted morning (or afternoon depending on my shift) training i don't see myself ever switching. Definitely a personal preference.
    Very true.

    In a perfect world, I'd love to be able to train on an empty stomach, but the only times it has ever 'worked' well for me is if I carbed up the night before, which almost always negatively impacts my sleep so it's kind of a lost cause...

    On rare occasions I've had good fasted workouts, but I typically need at least some small amount of carbs beforehand to keep energy up for more than 30min... even if it's just a banana or drinking coconut water during training.

    Conversely, I also cannot train on a full stomach... if I do eat a 'meal' pre-training, I need to wait 2-2.5 hours.
    The power of carbs compels me!
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    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Very true.

    In a perfect world, I'd love to be able to train on an empty stomach, but the only times it has ever 'worked' well for me is if I carbed up the night before, which almost always negatively impacts my sleep so it's kind of a lost cause...

    On rare occasions I've had good fasted workouts, but I typically need at least some small amount of carbs beforehand to keep energy up for more than 30min... even if it's just a banana or drinking coconut water during training.

    Conversely, I also cannot train on a full stomach... if I do eat a 'meal' pre-training, I need to wait 2-2.5 hours.
    Well you wouldn't want a high carb intake pre bed anyways because of the impairment to GH secretion.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rhadam View Post
    Well you wouldn't want a high carb intake pre bed anyways because of the impairment to GH secretion.
    Im not sure it'd make a meaningful difference in long term growth, but im happy to be proved wrong.

    To be clear, I don't usually eat a huge meal before bed... but in some cases it has just worked out that way... I just find myself when training fasted in the AM getting hungry and kind of tired about halfway through the session.
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    Verified Aesthetic rhadam's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post
    Im not sure it'd make a meaningful difference in long term growth, but im happy to be proved wrong.

    To be clear, I don't usually eat a huge meal before bed... but in some cases it has just worked out that way... I just find myself when training fasted in the AM getting hungry and kind of tired about halfway through the session.
    Chronically it would be detrimental.. I believe. Granted this is something I studied when I was still practicing.. roughly 6 years ago so i'd have to refresh. In isolation I doubt it would make much difference. I'm at work but I can see if I can pull some data up later.
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    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rhadam View Post
    Chronically it would be detrimental.. I believe. Granted this is something I studied when I was still practicing.. roughly 6 years ago so i'd have to refresh. In isolation I doubt it would make much difference. I'm at work but I can see if I can pull some data up later.
    That seems to fly in the face if so many anecdotal claims that people sleep better after having night time carb loads, as well as others who do so in order to train in AM fasted. I would have thought that it’s the long term, average level of GH in someone’s system that makes a difference as opposed to a transient change one time per day.... makes me wonder, then, what the thresholds would be where someone could avoid a negative impact on GH... because my dinner always has carbs, but I don’t lay down to sleep for a 2.5 hours after eating it...

    Even still, I always thought the argument on carbs and GH was that insulin can inhibit GH secretion. But then again, insulin itself has an anabolic effect, and if you combine that with protein in the same meal, it can be even greater.

    So although carbs at night might lower the GH amount during sleep, wouldn’t the other anabolic effects of carbs/insulin/protein basically counteract that? I mean when you’re fasting, yes you have more GH, but GH isn’t the be all end all of growth by any means, especially if you don’t have any protein in your system or insulin to also promote growth... GH almost seems like an insurance policy against muscle breakdown as much as it is a promoter of growth in this case.
    Last edited by AdamWW; 05-23-2020 at 03:43 PM.
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    I do the same.
    I have a protein shake 30 minutes before (just water and whey) and some caffeine. Then I work out. About an hour later another shale with some creatine. Then I’ll eat some breakfast. I think it helps get the aminos / proteins in your body since they take a bit to be processed.

    Originally Posted by Neely47 View Post
    Or is it a matter of personal preference? I usually like weightlifting early morning usually starting at 5am or 5:30am. I sometimes notice I can feel no energy if I don't eat anything before hand and I don't feel motivated at the gym at all. Would it be a good idea to eat a preworkout meal beforehand? Since this is early morning, it might be tricky to consume a preworkout meal. How many minutes before workout would you suggest to eat? What should preworkout meal consist beforehand in terms of carbs, protein and fat ratio? Thank you.
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    Personal preference. I prefer 3.2345456 gulps of Folgers and go train. Prefer empty stomach.

    Whatever allows you to have the most productive training sessions is what you should do.
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