19120 N Pima Rd #100, Scottsdale, Arizona 85255

Pre, Post, & Intra Workout Nutrition

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Pre, Post, & Intra Workout Nutrition


What you eat and drink, before, during, and after a workout is extremely important and will directly impact your performance and results.


Failure to fuel your body with correct nutrients surrounding a workout not only means your performance will suffer, but also decreases the benefits you should be receiving from your workout. Ingesting protein, carbs and some minerals or electrolytes around and even during your workout can have huge benefits.


For muscles to work, repair, and grow, they require amino acids. Amino acids fuel muscles by entering the muscle cells during physical activity. This process is known as a sodium/potassium pump. Carbs get a bad rap, but they’re totally necessary for muscle growth and repair. When you eat carbs, your insulin increases. Insulin essentially opens the door for muscle cells to receive amino acids and for the sodium/potassium pump to take place. If you don’t have enough insulin, your body will produce glucagon, which is an antagonist of insulin. Glucagon essentially robs muscles of essential amino acids to fuel the body if there isn’t enough sugar in the blood. Being insulin resistant or being deficient in sodium (rare) or potassium (common), has the same impact on glucagon.


Body builders traditionally eat higher carb meals prior to a workout to increase their insulin levels. While this makes logical sense and I’m sure there’s some semi-accurate “Bro Science” behind the idea, the amount of insulin required to unlock the cells in the muscles is very minimal. So, unless your workouts are lasting over an hour, you shouldn’t need to carb load too much before a workout. Because potassium deficiency is most commonly the weak link in the chain, I recommend high potassium foods that will also increase insulin levels. Eating a banana 20-30 minutes before your workout is a great and super simple example. Electorlyte formulas are also great and convenient during your workout… and no I’m not talking about straight sugary sports drink. That’s not nutrition!


Now let’s discuss the actual fuel; amino acids. Insulin, sodium and potassium can be thought of as the key to the ignition. Working out and using your muscles is like turning the key. Amino acids are the gas. Having a high protein meal prior to your workout is great. Supplementing with amino acids during your workout is best.


During a weight training workout, your amino acid requirements can increase by over 500 percent. That’s a ton and it’s why intra workout nutrition has become known as the most important element of workout nutrition. Electrolytes seem to get all the attention, but the benefits of consuming Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) intra-workout should not be overlooked. It’s honestly the best and easiest way to make sure you’re supplying your muscles with the fuel they need to function, repair, and grow.


In conclusion, proper nutrition around your workout is not only necessary for fueling you through your training session, but also ensuring you have sustained energy throughout your entire day. Plus, the right combination of carbohydrates and proteins before, during, and after your workout, will: 

  • Increase your energy output by elevating insulin levels, which carry vital nutrients to muscle cells

  • Limit cortisol, helping your body maintain a healthy workout induced stress response 

  • Maximize your body’s ability to burn fat

  • Minimize free radicals and muscle damage, speeding recovery

  • Support healthy muscle growth by maintaining glycogen stores.


And, most importantly, prevent your blood sugar from plummeting, which causes intense cravings that lead to overeating, and poor dietary choices.


Proper workout nutrition is surprisingly easy and convenient to follow. I like a food first principle, but I’m also a realist who wants the maximum benefit from the hard work I’m putting in. supplements like bars, amino acid, electrolyte powders, and protein shakes are convenient and most effective.



If you’re looking to maximize your results, then the absolute easiest thing you can do is eat a bar or drink a shake 30 minutes before your workout, drink some branch chain amino acids and electrolytes during your workout, and then drink another post workout shake with some fruit blended up in it.



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