Peri-Workout Nutrition Explained!


Today we'll be going over peri-workout nutrition! What you eat prior, during, and after working out can make a big difference in your recovery and overall progress. If you've ever wondered what's optimal to consume in this time frame, keep reading ⬇️


Before training, you want to be fueled. Avoid training on an empty stomach, as you'll have lower energy and less strength in your lifts. Rather, focus on consuming adequate protein and carbs. Eating protein before exercise causes less damage to your muscles and gives the body amino acids, which increases muscle-building capabilities. Carbs before exercise fuels your training, helps with recovery, preserves muscle & liver glycogen, and stimulates the release of insulin. Fats should not enhance or hinder training, but they do slow down digestion, so consider the timing of them. It's recommended not to eat a large amount of fats immediately before training.

If eating 30-60 mins before workout, we recommend a smaller meal with quick digesting protein and carbs, while avoiding foods that are high in fat/fiber close to the workout. If eating 1-2 hours before workout, we recommend a larger meal consisting of a protein source, complex carbs, vegetables (fiber), and fats, because there's more time to digest the meal.


    Intra-workout nutrition is what we consume 
    during a workout. While it is not absolutely necessary, it can definitely be helpful for energy levels and can aid in faster recovery. It is most important when training with a high intensity, as well as when inadequate food was consumed pre-workout. Common elements of intra-workout nutrition are:

    EAAs (Essential Amino Acids):

    Building blocks of protein
    Assists with muscle protein synthesis
    Supports recovery


    Increase strength, power, and recovery
    Replenish cellular energy (ATP)
    Improves anaerobic capacity
    Increases intracellular fluid
    Supports brain function

    Sodium: supports fluid balances and hydration
    Potassium: impacts carb storage and muscle contraction
    Magnesium: helps dispose of lactate and helps glucose metabolism


    Fast digesting
    Improves performance, endurance, and focus
    Creates an anti-catabolic environment
    Can consume cereal, candy, granola, Gatorade, etc.
    Note: Many like to mix all of the above together in a drink that looks like: a full serving of EAAs, a full serving of creatine, ~25-50g carbs, and a pinch of a natural salt or an electrolyte powder. It should also be noted that creatine can be consumed at any time of the day, though many choose to consume it intra-workout for convenience.

    Lastly, to get the most out of training, we should consume a proper post-workout meal. This is essential because training causes stress to our muscles, joints, and immune system, depletes glycogen stores, and causes cortisol levels to increase. However, a proper post-workout meal mitigates the stress from exercise. It enhances recovery, prevents our bodies from breaking down lean tissue, reduces muscle soreness, manages inflammation, and increases muscle protein synthesis.

    So what do we need in our post-workout meal? Protein is required for our muscles to repair and grow. Carbohydrates are also required for replenishing depleted glycogen stores. As for fats, they should be consumed moderately at this time, as they may slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal. We recommend consuming a high protein, high carb, moderate to low-fat content meal within 2 hours after your training session. It is a myth that you need to chug a protein shake immediately after your workout (the "anabolic window" is actually much larger than people used to assume). Water intake post-workout is also very important as exercise can be dehydrating.