For years upon years people have known that the you need to be getting in protein right after you lift. It’s just common knowledge. The anabolic window is open, and you want to throw as much protein and carbs through that open window as possible in order to bring on the gains.
And this is for good reason. When you’ve finished training your body is in a state that makes it far more receptive to nutrients, specifically carbs and protein, and you can make use of those nutrients to a greater degree.
If you haven’t been paying much attention to the meathead corner of the Internet, making use of nutrients is a good thing. If you’re more primed to utilize protein and carbs effectively, you’re going to pack on more lean body mass, and as a result look better.
But for all the talk that the post workout window has gotten, there’s been one part of the equation that’s been forgotten: the pre-workout meal.
Most people don’t’ pay nearly as much attention to what they’re eating for a pre-workout meal compared to the post workout meal, and whether they know it or not, this could be seriously impacting their ability to pack on muscle.
Why the pre-workout meal is the missing piece of the equation.
When you’re training you’re putting the body under stress. This stress is what causes you to grow and get stronger. By damaging the muscle tissue, you force adaptations to take place, and as such you look better.
But those adaptations can be limited when you don’t have enough, or the right kind of fuel in your body.
Having an adequate amount of protein in carbs in the body before training can help limit the amount of muscle breakdown that occurs, which in turn leads to more size and strength.
But protein isn’t the only important factor. Carbs are arguably more important, because they help fuel those training sessions, and are critical to providing you with enough energy to push through a grueling training session.
On top of that, carbs are necessary for helping you get a massive pump while training. You know, the feeling of your skin stretching to the point that it’s going to rip? The one that Arnold compared to coming? Yeah, you can’t get that without carbs.
So it should be fairly obvious that a pre-workout meal is hugely important. But what makes the perfect pre-workout meal?
Like I said, this is something not enough people pay attention to. The pre-workout meal can truly make or break your training sessions the more advanced you get. So if you care about looking awesome naked, packing on serious muscle mass, or getting insanely strong, the pre-workout meal is a must.
One of my go-to favorites is a couple of scoops of whey protein, along with a bagel. This way I know I’m getting plenty of protein, enough carbs to fuel training, and it’s not a heavy meal that makes me feel full and sluggish.
But lately I’ve also been playing around with MacroFuel, which we’ve written about before here on BroBible. The calories are low enough so that I’m not overly full, but it hits me with enough carbs and protein to fuel serious training.
The most important thing is that you want to make sure your pre-workout macros are on point. Look for something in the range of a 2:1 carb to protein ratio, ideally.
What not to do.
The worst thing you could possibly do is eat a massive meal before training. Far too many times we see people who pound an entire bowl of pasta, chicken breast, and whatever else their stomach desires, and then go train.
And while you may feel like you can make that happen, you may not realize how much better your training sessions go by eating a little less.
This is primarily due to the fact that when you eat, your body has to respond by digesting that food. Which requires energy. Energy that you could be using for training.
On top of that, digestion requires blood flow being redirected towards the stomach and intestines to some degree. When that blood flow is redirected to these organs, it can harm your pump and ability to clear waste products from the muscle tissue, since the blood that would otherwise be there is now in your stomach cavity.
If you’re serious about your training, start paying attention to your pre-workout meal bros. You’ll see far better results because of it.