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Pre-workout and Post-workout Meals for Strength Training

Cerebrus189 Posts: 315 Member
Now that I'm doing some heavy strength training, I'm confused as to what I should be eating before and after my workouts to ensure my body is efficiently fueled during my workout.

Robb Wolf says fat and carbs but my training coach (who eats Paleo) goes with standard training advice in recommending carbs before a workout. For those who work on heavy strength training (CrossFit and the like), which idea have you found most helpful in keeping your stamina?


  • TriLifter
    TriLifter Posts: 1,283 Member
    I would do fat and carbs before, protein and carbs after.

    ETA: fat and carbs for energy; protein and carbs to refuel
  • Shadowknight137
    Shadowknight137 Posts: 1,243 Member
    Well, to be honest, it really is entirely independant on the individual.

    Some people can eat carbs - or anything, really - pre-workout and use them as energy to have an amazing session. Others (like me) will eat those carbs - or any kind of food - and feel sick, sleepy and sluggish, so in reality benefit from not having a preworkout at all. So basically: trial and error. Do you work better with some fat and protein in you before you lift, or do you prefer having a few carbs in you? Or do you prefer training fasted? YMMV.

    Post workout is largely overblow... well, entirely overblown. To simplify: just get in enough protein by the end of the day rather than worry about any kind of timing - and get in enough carbs to assist your energy needs - and you should be fine.
  • Cerebrus189
    Cerebrus189 Posts: 315 Member
    Thanks, PrimalRunner and Howl_Shadowknight! I'll try experimenting and see what works. Like everything else, I guess there is no steadfast rule. When I eat carbos and fat, I definitely feel more energized. So I guess that's what I'll need to try. I'm going to try the BCAA mix idea that another Paleo suggested as well.
  • CajunTexan33
    CajunTexan33 Posts: 76 Member
    When I start feeling low on sugar/carbs I always heat up a sweet potato and it really seems to help me! I don;t like much in my stomach before or right after a workout..but try to eat as asoon as I recover. If I really feel I just need SOMETHING..but not sungry yet, I can usually handle a spoonful of almond butter or a small bag of mixed nuts.. or even some deli shaved turkey is great! (some people dont like the preservatives in that..but bc of my protein intolerances I am short on options here!) Think it depends on how your body feels and what you feel you are needing! hopefully those are a few ideas though for you!
  • EricCowperthwaite
    I personally hate to workout with any food in my body. Much prefer to be in a fasting state when I work out. This is probably a result of 10 years in the Army where we always worked out first, then ate breakfast. In any case, I never eat pre workout snacks. After workout, I "eat" bulletproof coffee, which is 454 calories, 51g of which are fats: grassfed butter and coconut oil. That keeps me going until lunchtime.

    Current workouts are Shaun T's Focus T25, which is always cardio, but 3 days a week of strength too (using body weight).

    When I was doing Insanity, I found that I needed some fruit post workout in addition to the BPC. After I finish Focus T25 I will be starting either Stronglifts 5x5 or NROL heavy lifting training. I suspect I will need to up my protein intake at that point.
  • AllanMisner
    AllanMisner Posts: 4,140 Member
    I'm all good to do cardio in a fasted state, but I peter out if I don't have some carbs (berries or veggies work fine) before my strength training. After strength training, I want protein. I have resorted to a whey protein with coconut water and cocao powder. If I were completely avoiding dairy, I'd probably opt for egg whites (Fat can slow down protein absorption).