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Author Topic: Pre-Workout Meal (No not The Meal)  (Read 1290 times)
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RedJak
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« on: March 01, 2005, 04:23:47 PM »

So I hit the gym about 3 days a week and do a circuit workout and follow it with some cycling.  The problem is my energy level fluctuates quit a bit from day to day and I usually hit a point that my muscles could still go but I just feel wiped out.

I am thinking this is due to the fact that I never eat anything before I workout.  I do drink lots of water though.  Does anyone have a particular meal or drink they have before exercising?

Edit:

Heh.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2005, 04:31:21 PM »

Hehehe I thought you were speaking of MHS's hubby. I was expecting to see a pre workout photo then a post workout photo a few weeks later. How disappointing.  Tongue
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Laner
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2005, 05:49:19 PM »

A glass of orange juice or a protein bar of some kind 15-30 minutes before you work out should help...  I definitely wouldn't have a full meal or anything beforehand though.
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kathode
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2005, 06:11:55 PM »

Usually I just eat something small, like a cup of yogurt and some water.  You don't want to eat anything too heavy, as blood will go to your stomach and not around your muscles where you need it.  Also, supposedly, the less you eat beforehand, the more your body starts to burn fat for energy during your workout.  Probably what you need to do is just start powering through when you start to feel wiped, and also maybe up your cardio so you have more energy.
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Tony
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2005, 06:24:37 PM »

Pancakes, pancakes, and more pancakes.  Seriously, I get a tremendous amount of energy from eating them, more than any other food laden with carbohydrates.
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Calvin
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2005, 08:49:18 PM »

Wow, no offense to anyone here, but this is some bad advice. First off, no orange juice. YOu dont need that sugar, it inhibits muscle growth. Next, the pancakes idea is great if you are practicing for running a marathon, otherwise all it will do is eventually spike your blood glucogen whatchamacallit levels, which is Bad (tm) for weightlifting.

here is a list of approved things, to be eaten in moderate amounts, that I ahve gleaned from personal experience and mens health, muscle and fitness, and flex over hte last several years.

Cottage Cheese (2% fat at most)
Sandiwches with whole grain bread, lay off the mayo
Any non-fatty protein. Chicken breasts, very lean steak, hamburger, etc.
Protein shakes or bars (Easiest and perhaps most effective way of getting everything you need)
If you must do carbs, do some sort of steel cut oatmeal with some cottage cheese or sprinkle protein powder on top.
Soy pasta is a-ok too.

Try to eat no more than 5-600 cals for the preworkout meal, and make it at LEAST 1 hour before the gym unless you have a cast iron stomach to help digest.

I would also HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you invest in some energy drinks. M&F just rated straight up caffeine and metabolizer drinks as the safest most effective way of non drug aided energy enhancment for the gym. SOme suggestions:
Sugar free redbull
strong green tea
Any ABB thermogenic drink.

Hope this helps.
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Blackadar
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2005, 09:46:32 PM »

I always found a powerbar or something like that - eaten an hour or so before working out - was the best way to go.

Working out on an empty stomach runs you out quickly.

It takes a lot of oxygen in the bloodstream to digest food, so working out after a heavy meal is bad - you just can't go as long.

So eat a small snack an hour before - cheese, powerbar, etc. - and you'll do well.
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RedJak
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2005, 10:09:42 PM »

Thanks all!  This is some great stuff.  The cast iron stomach comment really hits home and is the reason I have avoided eating before exercise.  At best having a full gut slows me down and at worst I very quickly stop having a full gut.
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Harpua3
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2005, 10:28:17 PM »

Quote from: "Tony"
Pancakes, pancakes, and more pancakes.  Seriously, I get a tremendous amount of energy from eating them, more than any other food laden with carbohydrates.



 For some reason that is funny to me. Kind of like in a Pop-eye kind of way smile .
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Laner
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« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2005, 10:48:49 PM »

Quote from: "Rage"
Wow, no offense to anyone here, but this is some bad advice. First off, no orange juice. YOu dont need that sugar, it inhibits muscle growth..

I'm not talking about a huge glass of it - just 8oz at most.  That's not enough to inhibit anything, but it'll at least get rid of the hunger pangs long enough to get through the workout.  Actual food is preferrable, but if that's not an option, there ya go.  I am thinking of it from a runner's perspective rather than a weightlifter's, so yeah you might want to do somethign different. but it's hardly "bad advice"
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Calvin
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« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2005, 11:07:43 PM »

Quote from: "Laner"
Quote from: "Rage"
Wow, no offense to anyone here, but this is some bad advice. First off, no orange juice. YOu dont need that sugar, it inhibits muscle growth..

I'm not talking about a huge glass of it - just 8oz at most.  That's not enough to inhibit anything, but it'll at least get rid of the hunger pangs long enough to get through the workout.  Actual food is preferrable, but if that's not an option, there ya go.  I am thinking of it from a runner's perspective rather than a weightlifter's, so yeah you might want to do somethign different. but it's hardly "bad advice"


Well, i meant a smiley after my bad advice laner, you know my usual attempts at dry sarcasm fail miserably smile Seriously though, if you are advocating a runners pre-workout meal, yeah that is different, OJ would be an excellent drink, but I probably misread this and thought he meant purely for weightlifting-and for that I would rather metabolize only the sugar that comes in say...a bottle of gatorade while lifting. Obviously, runners have difeferent concerns that I am less familiar with since I only do cardio to supplemtn by bb stuff.
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Doopri
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2005, 02:07:12 AM »

also do ya work out early in the morning?  if ya do eat a pretty high carb meal the night before gives ya lotsa energy (pasta works).  then before ya work out eat a lil somethin to stave off hunger pangs but that wont just sit in ya stomach - i gotta say OJ and yogurt or like a piece of fruit were always some of my fav things for an additional lil energy boost w/o floorin me

if your main prob is energy i would def stick with things that boost that protein is great for muscle growth but itll never help with fuelin your body nearly as well as carbs and sugars (dont overdue it with the sugars though think of that as like a quick primer - hence why glass of oj or piece of fruit) - and dont use sugars to replace carbs or else  l\ (that would be a quick up followed by droppin back down - your body uses em pretty quickly)
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RedJak
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« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2005, 10:10:13 PM »

Yeah, I am going for more weight-lifting sort of.  I tend to do a circuit of 13 machines that cover everything at a low weight at 5 reps each.  Then I do another circuit at real weight and do 20 reps.   Then usually I move to the bike. Since I move pretty quickly I get my heart rate nice and high and keep it there for about 40 minutes.  This is just my latest home grown workout routine and so far it has done a good job cutting my fat while getting good muscle tone.  

I do workout in the mornings.  I try to avoid eating too late and I think that is a contributer since it is probably a good 12-13 hours from the time I last eat till I workout.  That does sound pretty long all typed out like that.  

Tomorrow is a gym day so I will try this out in the morning.
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2005, 03:28:20 PM »

I would advise against eating anything aside from something REALLY light before working out.  It isnt good to go on an empty stomach, but you also dont want your body putting energy into digestion.  

I speak from experience on how badly it will effect your workout.  Some days I wouldnt get the chance to eat while at work, would grab something after work then head to the gym, and the workout would go really poorly.  Best way to play that situation is to eat, give your body an hour or two to digest your food, then go exercise.  Either that, or just work out lightly; better to do a light workout than none at all.

[edit] I have to agree on Cottage Cheese.  That is damn fine workout food too, especially the lowfat kind.  Throw in some something else like fruit, and you can give it endless variety.

Speaking of variety, if you are going to get into protien shakes, get EAS stuff.  They have lots of different flavors, which is important- after months of the same faux-chocolate taste you will begin to hate the shakes.  If you are on a tight budget and have to get less expensive suppliments, stick with chocolate, since the other flavors tend to ALWAYS be extra disgusting.  But the EAS stuff I have tried always tastes good.
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Calvin
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2005, 07:54:08 PM »

Quote from: "unbreakable"
I would advise against eating anything aside from something REALLY light before working out.  It isnt good to go on an empty stomach, but you also dont want your body putting energy into digestion.  

I speak from experience on how badly it will effect your workout.  Some days I wouldnt get the chance to eat while at work, would grab something after work then head to the gym, and the workout would go really poorly.  Best way to play that situation is to eat, give your body an hour or two to digest your food, then go exercise.  Either that, or just work out lightly; better to do a light workout than none at all.

[edit] I have to agree on Cottage Cheese.  That is damn fine workout food too, especially the lowfat kind.  Throw in some something else like fruit, and you can give it endless variety.

Speaking of variety, if you are going to get into protien shakes, get EAS stuff.  They have lots of different flavors, which is important- after months of the same faux-chocolate taste you will begin to hate the shakes.  If you are on a tight budget and have to get less expensive suppliments, stick with chocolate, since the other flavors tend to ALWAYS be extra disgusting.  But the EAS stuff I have tried always tastes good.


If you eat the appropriate foods, 1 hour is plenty of time before the gym (and not too much food obviously). For those with sensitive stomachs, like me, some things such as protein shakes might sit in your belly for the whole workout, so be prepared for that.
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Knightshade Dragon
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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2005, 08:52:14 PM »

When I was training to fight professionally I'd be all over the steak and potatoes.  I never lost a fight, but I'm not sure if its sound advice or not.  Looks like others have a far more scientific bit than I do. slywink
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Calvin
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2005, 09:04:22 PM »

Quote from: "Knightshade Dragon"
When I was training to fight professionally I'd be all over the steak and potatoes.  I never lost a fight, but I'm not sure if its sound advice or not.  Looks like others have a far more scientific bit than I do. slywink

The problem is, there are so many divergent goals. I am what most serious gym rats classify as a "bodybuilder". Now I dont mean a Ronnie Coleman IFBB style bodybuilder, I go totally natural and right now am coming at 187 at around 10% BF in my bulking phase, so I eat and train accordingly.

Then you get KD type guys, who do jiu-jitsu or kickboxing or whatever and train accordingly, and trust me, its very very differnt from the way I train and eat. Then again, you have the powerlifters, who are completely different, the "serious" or "dirty" bodybuilders who are of course different, the runners and endurance people, etc etc, and then the rest of society, the average joe gym rat, who people like me make WAAY too much fun of, but in actuality are really doing great for themselves by going to the gym and trying to get in shape. Just realize the different needs of each goal and try to tailor what you do appropriately.
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RedJak
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2005, 09:59:18 PM »

Well I went with the cottage cheese and it seems to have suited me just fine. I really noticed the point where I would usually feel like keeling over but still had a good reserve of energy.

I guess I would be the standard gym rat.  I have been one of those people who is always doing some activity but never for any real goal except to be in shape when I want to do something.  Intially the gym was to tide me over the winters so I could be in shape to run, bike or hike when spring hit.  Now I just enjoy the workout and the results and when the warm weather hits I mix it up.
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