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Purpose of pre-workout shake?

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:41 am
by Gantz
I know that a post-workout shake allows your body to absorb carbs and protein more readily since there's a glycogen deficiency and your muscles are torn and need repair, but what exactly the is purpose of a pre-workout shake?

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:47 am
by bam
Research seems pretty thin but according to one study (Tipton et al., 2001), "...amino acid uptake seemed to be greater when nutrients were ingested before the exercise bout than immediately afterward, whereas the anabolic response was similar when the carbohydrate and amino acids were ingested 1 or 3 hours postexercise.... When some of these studies were repeated with whey protein and no carbohydrate, the difference ... was not evident. (Tipton, et al., 2007)."

If you're really interested, that quote is from "Sport Nutrition", 2ed by Jeukendrup and Gleeson and its pretty comprehensive (not to mention expensive).

What I've learned is that when you eat is as important as what you eat -- and that ideally you should time your diet to match your exercise schedule.

Another interesting point made in the book is that in order to activate the protein and amino acids (in a whey shake) you must add some carbs. Not much, mind you.... I add less than a scoop of raw oats to my pre and post whey drink. I also eat a banana post exercise.

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 7:01 am
by stuward
One thing I've learned is that different people have different responses. In some people the pre workout carbs give the person more energy for the workout. In my case I don't get that effect. I prefer working out fasted. It seems that Protein after working out is most important for most people but you really need to try the other options and keep an open mind about it.

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:32 am
by robertscott
I don't really like having a pre-workout shake, makes me feel a bit bloated during the workout.

I prefer just to have a solid meal an hour or so before training.

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:06 pm
by dale2177
I was never a fan of the pre workout supps either. I found i had no issues training in a fasted state as Stu mentioned but i recently came across an old article of John Berardi's and will be giving one of his suggestions a try.

Basically 0.8 grams per kilo of bodyweight carbs and 0.4 grams per kg bodyweight protein in a litre of water to be drank pre and during workout, then the same post workout.

Never really gave wy workout nutrition the attention it deserves and I'm considering if it has been holding me back, time will tell i guess.

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 12:57 pm
by Jebus
I drink Milk pre and I used to drink it post. But now I drink my shake post workout.

Sometimes I'll eat a meal. I find it's the meal the night before that effects my workout more.

I think firgginwizard drinks beer pre and post. I wonder how thats working for him.

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:30 pm
by Nevage
I drink a pre shake with dextrose in as well if it's been a while since I've eaten but most of the time I've eaten recently.

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:45 pm
by Jungledoc
I think that the idea of the pre-workout shake is that the AAs will be absorbed and be in your system when the demand for them starts increasing. Otherwise the function of a pre and a post workout shake are similar. Whether it makes any difference in long-term progress for the lifter, I don't think anyone can prove. It seems logical to me, so I do it, unless I've eaten within an hour or so before the workout.

Posted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 11:42 pm
by Gantz
Alright. I'll experiment with it and see how my body reacts.

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:47 am
by Pathoslogical
I have a meal about 2 hours before a workout and a shake afterwards, no shake beforehand. I drink water during the workout itself.

Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:34 am
by KPj
You get used to eating close to a workout or drinking a shake pre workout. It's something I was never able to do. I remember not long after I started, seeing this big guy eat fruit during the workout, and I was amazed he could train with it lying in his stomach.

Since I started working in my gym I need to take my calories when I can. Sometimes I knock back 50g carbs, 50g protein, in about 2 minutes, then go warm up and train (and drink a shake during the workout). I'll often go to the supermarket across from the gym, buy cooked chicken, eat till i'm full, then warm up and train. I wouldn't recommend this, but if you do 6 back to back appointments, at the very most, all you'll manage is a quick shake and you get kind of desperate for solid food. Then your "window" for solid food and training time is the same, so you need to eat close to it. At first it didn't feel good but now, I have no issue working out quite soon after eating. I think it helps that the first portion of my training days are more strength related so, there's not really much "getting out of breath" involvd. Mostly just straining. If I was doing intervals or complexes or something at the start, there's no way I could eat so close to it.


Re: Purpose of pre-workout shake?

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:52 am
by nageljj
I'm 150lbs and trying to fix my nutrition while bulking. On days I lift, I go straight from the workplace to home, change quickly, make myself a 300-500 calorie workout shake, and head to the gym to meet my workout partner.
Is this a good idea? I see so many people saying 'use whole foods for protein' that I'm starting to question this method.
Also, I've tried VPX Zero-carb protein shakes and they are delicious! Is there a time this would be good to take, such as post-workout if I planned to have a meal 30 min after?

Re: Purpose of pre-workout shake?

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:51 am
by stuward
You don't need zero carb for a workout shake. Use that for your morning wakeup drink if you want. That's the best time of day to take in carbs. You could have part of the shake before your workout, sip it throughout and finish it off in the locker room. As long as your taking is around your workout it will get used. Have a full meal about an hour or so after that using whole foods and eat until satisfied.

Re: Purpose of pre-workout shake?

Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:48 pm
by Oscar_Actuary
shucks, no links.

if anything my PreWorkout is BCAAs; but only if haven't eaten in 4 hours or more generally.
(added to counter the troll accusations ;) )

Re: Purpose of pre-workout shake?

Posted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:12 pm
by soulblazer27
i work out in the morning, so i wake up to a bowl of porridge with some brown sugar and thats about it. then a protein shake after the fact to keep me from feeling pooped. i honestly feel Ill be working out for the rest of my life, so I'm in no hurry to get huge. eating a good hearty dinner a while after the fact seems to work itself out really well.