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Hi I’m Lee Labrada, your lean body coach and welcome to this weeks ask Lee.
This week’s Ask Lee comes from Punchydude (Robert)
QUESTION: Is it better to have carbs prior to a workout followed by protein post workout? Or better to have the protein pre workout, with the carbs post workout to restore glycogen? After many years of working out and sifting through the misinformation, I’d love to hear it from a bodybuilder of your caliber and knowledge.
ANSWER: Robert, thank you for your question and for your confidence in me. You are right, there’s a lot of mixed information out there, and not all of it is correct. The short answer to your question, is that you need both protein and carbohydrates, before and after your workout. Let’s look into this in greater detail.
Eating a balanced meal containing both protein and carbohydrates about an hour and a half prior to your work out, does two things. One, the proteins break down into amino acids, that then circulate throughout your body during your workout. Your muscles use these amino acids during exercise. Secondly, the carbohydrates in the meal provide the immediate fuel that you need to power through your workout.
After you work out, eating a meal containing both protein and carbohydrates will provide the necessary amino acids for jump starting the recovery process, along with replenishing the glycogen burned during the workout.
That being said, let’s break down these meals into more specifics. We’ll start with the pre-workout meal. The pre-workout meal, as I mentioned before, should be consumed about an hour and a half prior to starting your workout. This meal should be low in fat, so that it empties from your stomach quickly. You don’t want food sitting in your stomach when you start your workout. My typical pre-workout meal will consist of an 8 ounce portion of fish or chicken, plus a large sweet potato, or cup and a half of rice.
Remember, that’s an hour and a half before for working out. Then, 10 minutes before the workout, I will take a glass of water, and mix in 10g of branched-chain amino acids , 5g of glutamine, and a scoop of Power Carb, or I’ll eat a piece of fruit such as a banana. Branched-chain amino acids, along with glutamine, are the most prevalent amino acids that your muscles need both during and after the workout.
During the workout, I drink cold water as needed.
Right after the workout, I consume a whey isolate protein shake containing 40 g of protein, and eat a couple of bananas for fast carbs. The whey isolate is high in branched chain amino acids and glutamine, and is absorbed very quickly, which helps to kickstart the muscle building process.
The bananas raise insulin quickly, and this helps to drive amino acids and sugar into the muscles to begin the replenishment of the glycogen lost during the workout. Please note that you can increase the amount of carbs, if the two bananas are not enough for you, but stick to fast carbohydrates.
About one hour after this post workout mini meal, I will eat another whole food meal similar to the one I ate prior to the work out. This meal will contain 40 g of protein from chicken or fish, plus 80 grams of complex carbohydrates from sweet potatoes, brown rice, or potatoes.
Robert, I hope that this helps to clear up your questions concerning the structure of your pre-and post workout meals.
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I’m Lee Labrada, your lean body coach. Stay lean and stay strong.
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