Common Pre-Workout Nutrition Mistake

This past weekend my wife and I went out for something to eat. This is in itself is not that uncommon. What was a nice change was the experience we had.

We went to Memphis Blues which is owned by a friend of mine Andre. You can tell Andre runs a tight ship because everyone that works there acts like they own the place. And I don’t mean that in a negative way.

Instead they were all eager to please, genuine and very friendly. They took so much pride in what they do that you might mistake any number of them for being the owners.

But the other great thing about eating here is that it doens’t have to feel like a cheat meal. I mean you can order chicken, beans, salad, bbq sauce and a diet soda to go with it all.

Knowing you aren’t breaking away too far from your regular day-t0-day meal plan this isn’t a bad option when looking for somewhere to eat. And you know they’ll take good care of you.

But on to the tip of the day.

It used to be that we believed exercise on an empty stomach was the way to go. If there was no food in our belly then our bodies had no choice but to burn fat when we exercise.

Sounds reasonable, right? I’m sure a quick poll at a gym in the morning would find the majority of people don’t have anything to eat before they train.

Big mistake. Why?

Because  in addition to body fat our bodies also store glycogen in the muscle and the liver. And as soon as we increase the intensity of our activity we are more likely to burn glycogen instead of fat.

***do NOT make the mistake of understanding this to mean you reduce the intensity of your workouts in order to burn fat***

And who hasn’t recognized an increased emphasis on higher intensity exercise over the last few years? Does HIIT, Tabata, kettlebells etc ring a bell?

So if we know that we need to fuel our bodies prior to our workouts then it is matter of determing what and when?

The what aspect of your pre-workout nutrition should include carbs and protein. The carbs should be low to moderate on the glycemic index and if the protein is in supplement form it can be a whey or casein.

But here’s where some get tripped up.

They think that if a certain amount of carbs + protein before a workout is good, then more must be better.


Check the label on many protein supplements and you will find the protein in one serving can be upwards of 20-30 grams, or more!

Current research indicates that it is the quality of the protein as well as the amount that matters (as well as the timing, but that’s another topic). One way to measure the quality is the amount of essential amino acids contained in a serving. Or if you took just essential amino acids (eaa) with some carbs you could get away with around 6 grams of eaa before your workout.

6 grams is a far cry from the 30 grams many supplements contain. Add to that total the 10 grams people often get when they mix their protein in milk and you can quickly get up to 40 grams of protein in the pre-workout shake.

Remember what we are after is the best return on investment. Be a little smarter with your pre-workout plan and you will:

* get better results

* save money

* not feel nauseous while training

* not take in extra calories if weight loss is a goal

Leave me a comment and tell me what you normally take pre-workout.

Chris                                                                                                                                                               ‘always moving forward’


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