Pre/Post Workout Meal


SconnieGirl

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I see the recommendations for pre- and post-workouts. 

 

The book states that the post-workout meal is a bonus meal for recovery.

 

The meal planning template says that the PWO meal is a bonus meal. I'm thinking they mean the post- (vs. the pre-) workout meal.

 

I know this is specific...but even the pre-workout meal seems like a lot to me, especially when adding a post-workout meal on top of it plus not changing all of your other meals! 

 

Do I need to scale back on any main meals during workout days or is it really that both pre- and post-workout meals are both bonus? I understand this is all based on the intensity of the workout. I am high intensity. 

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The short answer here is no.

That said, it's all relative. Even with a high intensity work out you may be fine without a preWO meal if your workout is later in the day - in which case you might get away with upping the protein & fat content of your earlier meal & be fine.

If your workout is first thing in the morning then the general rule of thumb is to take a preWO if your actual first meal will be longer than an hour after wakening, however if you are used to training fasted, and quickly become fat adapted then you may be able to forgo the preWO - it's really quite personal and something you can tweak as you go.

My advice would be to never forgo the postWO though - even if it means eating your next meal within a short space of time.

Remember too that these are not full meals - they need only be a few bites - too much protein at this time will not be absorbed anyway. Don't forget the starchy carbs as these will decrease the rate of protein breakdown allowing for better muscle growth/repair, as well as replacing muscle glycogen.

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Not a problem - you've been keeping me suitably distracted from (& yet still hopefully sub-consciously listening to) a webinar by a lecturer with the most insanely boring/unengaging voice ever - I'll know when assignment time comes around if I've actually taken anything on board...  :wacko: 

So long as I'm helping someone!!  :D

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Good luck, SconnieGirl!  I went through all of the learning pains about pre- and post-WO and jmcbn and GFChris helped me immensely.  IF I need something pre-WO I have 1 hardboiled egg or a few bites of chicken breast.  Post workout I almost always have a few more bites of chicken breast and some roasted squash.  So, in total we're talking less than one chicken breast and <100g of squash.  If you're exercising at a high-intensity, you've more than used this fuel.  If for some reason, it's MORE than your body needs, trust your body to dial back its hunger cues at the next meal.

 

This is coming from someone who ALWAYS had a Quest bar post-workout and believed in the fallacy of carbs pre-WO.  A leopard can change its spots!

 

Cheers,

 

-Lauren (GGG)

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I just started a morning Crossfit class, and the difference in my performance including the pre- and post-WO meals is night and day, especially in managing my hunger the rest of the day. Experiment and see what works best for you based on what you've been doing and what the meal template recommends, starting with the recommendations and scaling up or down as needed. I find a couple bites is all I really need before, and basically breakfast for post-WO followed by "second breakfast" a couple hours afterward. At least, that's what's working for me right now!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a question regarding the recommendation to eat protein and fat pre-WO and to avoid carbohydrates. There is emerging evidence that lowering carb availability strengthens endurance adaptions: http://www.gssiweb.org/Article/sse-134-manipulating-carbohydrate-availability-to-promote-training-adaptation

 

...but when it comes to strength training, there is more evidence in favor of carbohydrates playing an important role to promote muscle growth and strength gains: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11905937

 

"CHO consumption during weight lifting exercise can modify the acute hormonal response to exercise. With series 2, CHO consumption continued to blunt the cortisol response to exercise during the twelve weeks of training. This is in contrast to significantly elevated cortisol levels observed for the placebo control group. Corresponding with the modified response patterns were differences in muscle growth. Weight training exercise with CHO ingestion resulted in significantly greater gains in both type I (19.1%) and type II (22.5%) muscle fibre area than weight training exercise alone. "

 

What is the rationale for avoiding carbs pre-WO, specifically?

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The thinking is that you're trying to teach your body to tap into your fat stores for fuel.

Carbs can convert into glucose within 30mins of eating them and so if you eat carbs as part of your preWO meal you'll be supplying your body with a fresh supply of carbs to use as energy, meaning it's less likely to use your fat stores, and you're less likely to become fat adapted.
 

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I see. But true fat adaption also requires a low-carb diet (<100g/day) for at least 1-2 weeks, and the allowance for starchy vegetables (roots, tubers) as well as fruits makes it unlikely that this will happen for some (most?) people. It actually also requires high fat intakes (50-60%+ of calories) as well as limiting protein intake to avoid gluconeogenesis. So while the premise is good, this diet doesn’t really achieve that state and the miniscule 20g of carbs from an apple pre-WO, when the guidelines enforces higher carbohydrate intakes post-WO, doesn’t make any sense. 

 

Some reading: https://www.nasm.org/the-training-edge-magazine/issues/american-fitness-magazine-nov-dec-2015/a-low-carb-diet-for-athletes

 

Louise Burke is the premiere researcher in this field, and extensive research shows no particular benefit: http://jap.physiology.org/content/jap/89/6/2413.full.pdf

 

From a therapeutic and weight-loss perspective, it totally makes sense, however - I just fail to see how avoiding carbs pre-WO but then allowing them at all other times will make any difference in the outcome.

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You might be surprised. I came to Whole30 from a long time of low carb eating.

 

My first Whole30 I was in Nutritional Ketosis for most of the time and that was eating starches as well.

 

I found the elimination of even the small amount of grains and the dairy I was having before, greatly changed my carb tolerance and stabilised my blood sugar.

 

Fruit isn't recommended Pre or Post Workout as it contains too much fructose (which is of no help when glucose is required), even bananas contain a lot of fructose. Apples are high in fructose and aren't recommended for workouts either before or after, not sure where you're getting that info from.

 

The science is pretty clear on why this works, fat and protein ratchet up the body to get ready to exercise and burn stored fat, carbs afterwards replenishes lost glycogen (especially important for lifting heavy things).

 

You will find few studies where the participants are not eating grains, dairy or things which don't qualify as compliant "meat".

Most studies are also performed on only men, making the results fairly useless for women.

The hormone support in Whole30 is excellent. I have lost weight on many low carb programs, but none have given me the health that Whole30 has, especially in regards to inflammation.

 

That study is from 2000, which now makes it over 15 years old.

Personally I would consider Volnek and Finney to be the leaders in the particular field of low carb for athletes: http://www.artandscienceoflowcarb.com/

 

If you haven't yet read It Starts With Food, there is a lot of detail in the book: http://whole30.com/itstartswithfood/

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I see. But true fat adaption also requires a low-carb diet (<100g/day) for at least 1-2 weeks, and the allowance for starchy vegetables (roots, tubers) as well as fruits makes it unlikely that this will happen for some (most?) people. It actually also requires high fat intakes (50-60%+ of calories) as well as limiting protein intake to avoid gluconeogenesis. 

In addition to what Praxis has said above bear in mind that fat adapation and nutritional ketosis are two entirely different things.

Being fat adapted means that your body has the ability to burn both fat & glucose for energy/fuel.

 

Nutritional ketosis in very basic terms on the other hand is where the body does not have enough glucose for energy and starts to break down fat stores instead, producing a build up of ketones in the body.

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Just so this makes a bit more sense, I was experimenting with NK before my first Whole30 as I was feeling quite unwell (I'd lost a lot of muscle mass), it didn't help, but Whole30 did and I was surprised I didn't drop out of it, because of the much larger amount of carbs. Previously I would never have stayed in ketosis, let alone nutritional ketosis while eating lots of starch.

 

Back then I was "metabolically deranged" and now, getting close to normal :wub: thanks Whole30

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You might be surprised. I came to Whole30 from a long time of low carb eating.

 

My first Whole30 I was in Nutritional Ketosis for most of the time and that was eating starches as well.

 

I found the elimination of even the small amount of grains and the dairy I was having before, greatly changed my carb tolerance and stabilised my blood sugar.

 

Fruit isn't recommended Pre or Post Workout as it contains too much fructose (which is of no help when glucose is required), even bananas contain a lot of fructose. Apples are high in fructose and aren't recommended for workouts either before or after, not sure where you're getting that info from.

 

The science is pretty clear on why this works, fat and protein ratchet up the body to get ready to exercise and burn stored fat, carbs afterwards replenishes lost glycogen (especially important for lifting heavy things).

 

You will find few studies where the participants are not eating grains, dairy or things which don't qualify as compliant "meat".

Most studies are also performed on only men, making the results fairly useless for women.

The hormone support in Whole30 is excellent. I have lost weight on many low carb programs, but none have given me the health that Whole30 has, especially in regards to inflammation.

 

That study is from 2000, which now makes it over 15 years old.

Personally I would consider Volnek and Finney to be the leaders in the particular field of low carb for athletes: http://www.artandscienceoflowcarb.com/

 

If you haven't yet read It Starts With Food, there is a lot of detail in the book: http://whole30.com/itstartswithfood/

 

I think we need to avoid strawman arguments here. I am simply asking the reasoning for not allowing carbohydrates pre-WO specifically, not at other times - including post-WO. What intrinsic properties of the apple (or any other carb source for that matter, that was just an example) pre-WO prevents fat adaption, when the overall diet is focused on the food quality and macronutrient balance that allows fat adaption to happen in the first place? 

 

Then again, as I stated, true fat adaption - at least physiologically speaking - happens under certain conditions and these conditions are not necessarily met by following Whole30. Improving food quality, eating more healthy fats, lowering carbohydrates and eliminating certain carb sources - yes, there are plenty of benefits of them and you will improve metabolic flexibility significantly (i.e. the ability to switch seamlessly between fats and carbs for fuel)...but don’t confuse the terms, that only muddles the waters.

 

I also don’t see why the age of a study should invalidate it, unless there are more recent studies refuting it. Especially not when you turn the argument around and reference Volek and Phinney and their 10-15 year old studies. Their studies were also mentioned in the links I provided, where even Volek himself has admitted that fat adaption has benefits, but falls on its face when you try to do high-intensity activity. 

 

I will concede, however, that there are certainly benefits of having periods of lower carbohydrate availability for maximizing training adaptions

http://www.mysportscience.com/#!Foodfight-high-fat-versus-high-carb/cjds/568f6b210cf2913953202910

 

...I was only asking the question, why - specifically - the pre-WO carbs would inhibit fat adaption.

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Are the pre- and post-wo meals **ONLY** for those who do "intense" workouts?  Are they not appropriate for those who do regular workouts and experience a lack of energy, have some lightheadedness, etc.? Can this be an individualized thing, for each person to determine if it's appropriate?

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If you're doing a work out that raises your heartbeat significantly and works up a sweat then I'd say they are appropriate.

As to whether or not you need both, or just the postWO, would depend on the timing of your work out, as per my first reponse to SconnieGirl at the start of this thread and is something you can tweak as you go.

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My workout schedule varies by day (thank you, wacky group fitness schedules!). I've figured out that if my workout, aka teaching, overlaps when I would normally be eating a regular meal, I'll have both pre- and post-workout meals. If it's not, I find I'm good with just a couple bites of chicken and sweet potato as a post-workout meal. Amazing what you can figure out in just 11 days...

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We have a home gym, and my husband and I use it six days a week.  We do three sets of three exercises each, increasing the weight each time.  We take turns, so he does one set, then I, then his second set, then mine, and so on.  The total workout takes about an hour, so my part is only 30 minutes.  I don't sweat or get winded;  it's just strength training for old people, lol.  My question is:  is this a workout for the purposes of needing pre- and post-workout meals?  

 

My second question is, if it's not (and that's my feeling), if I add a 45-minute walk at the end of it, does that change anything from the standpoint of meals?

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We have a home gym, and my husband and I use it six days a week.  We do three sets of three exercises each, increasing the weight each time.  We take turns, so he does one set, then I, then his second set, then mine, and so on.  The total workout takes about an hour, so my part is only 30 minutes.  I don't sweat or get winded;  it's just strength training for old people, lol.  My question is:  is this a workout for the purposes of needing pre- and post-workout meals?  

 

My second question is, if it's not (and that's my feeling), if I add a 45-minute walk at the end of it, does that change anything from the standpoint of meals?

Just bumping this up in the hopes that someone can answer my question.  Thanks!

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Hi Georgia, no need to "bump" topics that are posted within the same day or so, we moderators get to them as fast as we can but it's not always immediate.  :)

 

If you are doing any sort of lifting that causes you to feel depleted, go ahead and have a small post workout snack of protein and a bit of starchy veggie.  Depending on what you get up to on your 45 minute walk, you could need it then as well.  Basically the PWO snack is meant to replenish what you've burnt, aid in recovery and assist in building muscle.  It's really a personal choice as to what you do.  I would have to say any sort of program where your aim is to build strength (ie, muscle), you'd want something at the end of it to assist with that.

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