Eating For Muscle Gain: Pre-Workout Nutrition

By: Sean Nalewanyj

The saying goes "If you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail", and the same holds true for each and every one of your workouts.

If you want to succeed at bodybuilding, every session in the gym should be like a battle, and just like any other battle, you have to enter it with total mental and physical preparation.

This article will deal with the physical side and will teach you exactly how to prime your body before battling the weights by eating for muscle gain.

If you are eating for muscle gain prior to your workout, you will enter the gym at peak strength and will provide your body with the necessary tools to pump iron as effectively as possible.

Eating for muscle gain before a workout helps to achieve three main goals:

1) Peak you strength potential.

2) Maintain a continuous flow of balanced energy for your muscles and mind all through your workout session.

3) Minimize the breakdown of muscles during the workout and provide your body with all the ingredients necessary to start the process of recovery after your workout.

Solid food should not kick off your eating for muscle gain routine before a workout. You need to ensure that you're properly hydrated before starting your workout. Water plays a vital role in keeping strength and energy levels peaked, so always ensure that you've consumed an adequate amount of water in the few hours before you train.

Your 'eating for muscle gain' pre-workout meal should be had about 60 minutes before your training session. A major part of this meal should be protein. Protein will keep your body in an anabolic state and help prevent muscle breakdown during your workout.

The ideal amount is about 30-40 grams, created from a mixture of casein and whey protein, two high quality proteins. Ideal recipe: take 300-400ml of skim milk and mix in 25-30 grams of whey protein.

As whey protein is naturally high in BCAA's, which help to prevent muscle catabolism during your workout, it's a smart pre-workout choice when eating for muscle gain. When you mix your whey with milk, the release of proteins is slowed and this helps provide your body with a constant stream of amino acids throughout your training session.

You should also get 1-2 portions of low-glycemic carbohydrates along with your protein. Low glycemic carbohydrates are perfect before your workout because they are absorbed gradually into the bloodstream, giving your body a constant supply of energy to fuel your workout.

If you are eating for muscle gain, avoid high glycemic carbohydrates before your workout because they cause a surge of insulin to rapidly release in your bloodstream, to balance your elevated blood sugar levels. This will result in a quick rise in insulin levels followed by a sharp fall.

When your insulin levels fall, you will feel weak and sluggish. is is the last thing you want in the middle of a high intensity workout, so choose carbohydrates that won't cause this rapid fluctuation in insulin levels.

To maintain an even stream of sugars throughout your workout, choose pre-workout carbohydrates like oatmeal, apples, or brown rice that ensure steady energy levels.

When eating for muscle gain before a workout, your meals should be fairly small to allow for easy digestion and to prevent you from feeling sick when you train. You should never workout without having a meal in you first.

Here's a quick recap:

About 60 minutes prior to working out:

1) 300-400ml of milk mixed with 25-30 grams of whey protein

2) 1-2 servings of slow release carbs like oatmeal, brown rice, or apple

l also like to throw in a cup or two of coffee before my workouts as I find that this increases my energy and amplifies my focus nicely.

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