Fueling for Maximum Gains

photo 2Have you ever heard someone use the phrase, dont waste your workoutin regards to pre and post workout nutrition? What is the deal with all these athletes and the beeline to their assorted bags of shakers and mystery supplements before, during and after their workouts?

What most every athlete, coach, trainer and nutritionist can agree on, is the importance of nutrient timing and and proper workout fueling. What they understand is the significant benefits you can get from being fueled properly for peak performance as well as ultimate gains. Think of it this way, all training should be hugged by carbs and protein… before and after… pretty simple!

So lets talk about pre-training meal specifically. The primary goal of the PRE training meal is to accomplish the following:

– Reduce muscle glycogen depletion
– Reduce muscle protein breakdown
– Reduce post workout cortisol levels

How To Do It

To make all of the above happen, your body needs 2 things:
1. Carbs
2. Protein

photo 1For me, I love Oatmeal and protein shakes before I train, you pick your own combo of choice. I also don’t like to get nauseous when I train so I try to eat about 90 minutes prior to my session.

Nothing fancy, just protein and carbs coming from normal foods 1-2 hours before working out. This is what I’d personally recommend to most people. There’s no need to get any more complicated than that, and no need to obsess about the specifics.

Post Training Nutrition: What should you eat after training?
Your POST training meal is the first meal you eat after your train.

While the PRE training nutrition phase is commonly referred to as the “Energy Phase,” this POST training portion of your around-workout-nutrition is commonly referred to as the “Anabolic Phase.”

photo 4The Purpose of Post Training Nutrition
The purpose of the post training meal is to maximize the “anabolic phase,” the building or rebuilding of something. Quite simply, your post training meal is the meal that plays the largest role in supplying your body with everything it will need to repair, replenish, recover and adapt to the training stimulus that you put your body through.

Specifically, the goal of the post training meal is to accomplish the following:

– Replenish muscle glycogen that was depleted during your workout
– Reduce muscle protein breakdown caused by exercise
– Increase muscle protein synthesis
– Reduce muscle soreness and fatigue
– Enhance overall recovery
– Reduce cortisol levels

How To Do It
To make all of the above happen, your body once again needs 2 things:
1. Carbs
2. Protein

photo 3Yup, the same 2 things your body benefits from before your training are the same 2 things your body benefits from after your training. So, your primary goal with your POST training meal is to consume a significant amount of both carbs and protein in some form soon after you train.

Why soon after? Because, after your workout, your body is absolutely primed and ready to accept protein and carbs so it can immediately begin putting these nutrients to good use doing all of the awesome things you want it to be doing.

To learn even more about nutrient timing as it applies to training check out the following:

“Nutrient Timing: The future of sports nutrition” by John Ivy, Phd.


“The Performance Zone” by John Ivy, Phd.


Also for more detailed nutritional questions and direction, please contact our ASF recommended registered dietician, Adrien Paczosa at:


DSC_9759About Krista Bergeron: Krista is a co-owner and personal trainer at Austin Simply Fit. When she isn’t beating records and killing it in the powerlifting world, Krista enjoys exploring some of the fabulous restaurants Austin has to offer, spending time with her family and listening to music.