I always work out very early in the morning. And since I’ve never wanted to get up an extra hour before I work out, which is already early, I’ve typically worked out on an empty stomach. There are some that recommend doing this to force your body to burn up fat for energy since you are in a “fasting” state already. There are others who say that you need some energy for your body to perform well during the workouts and have the necessary fuel to build muscle.
Well, out of necessity, I always worked out on an empty stomach, and my body fat loss definitely happened quickly during round 1. So I have no complaints there. But as I’ve studied more about nutrition and timing of meals — and as my goals have changed toward building more lean muscle and maximizing the strength gains from my workouts — I’m liking the idea of getting some fuel on board before starting a workout.
Since this “little” coaching job (along with emails, this website, etc.) has forced me to start getting up earlier and earlier in the morning to fit it all in, I now HAVE the time to eat something 1 hour prior to my workout, so that’s what I’ve been doing (off and on). When I first wake up (4:30), I have a scoop of whey protein powder mixed in water. That loads me with protein, lots of BCAA’s, and glutamine. All great stuff for muscle building. Then, during the workout, I have been adding some amino acids to my water bottle so that I keep a steady flow of muscle-building proteins in my system the entire time I’m working out. This “intra-workout” supplement (“intra-workout” means something you take during your workout) I’m using is called Purple Wraath. A scoop mixed in water is 30 calories, and it’s basically just micronized protein and amino acids for fast absorption.
So now, rather than working out on an empty stomach, I’m fueled on the essential building blocks of muscle tissue while working out. It costs me 150 calories, so I factor that into my daily totals.
I still don’t take any carbs (as a pre-workout boost of energy). So I feel like I’m giving my muscles what they need to maximize their potential and to keep my body from breaking down muscle tissue during the workout. But I’m also limiting the calories and carbs so that I can burn fat during the workout.
I used this strategy for about 3 months during my mass building round with great results. I have also gone back and forth with doing my workouts on an empty stomach during periods of maintenance, and I find that effective as well.
So I just wanted to make you guys aware of this as an option, if you are a morning workout person who has time to get some essential proteins and aminos in your system before working out. If you don’t have time to get protein in your system before working out, consider ordering some Purple Wraath (I got mine from Bodybuilding.com) so that you can sip it during your workouts. It gets great reviews from those who have used it, and a $30 tub will last you about 2 months.
So, in conclusion, this is my exact schedule when using whey before my workout (and yours may vary if you work out at different times of day):
4:30 – Whey protein
5:10 – Pre-workout supp (E&E)
5:30 – Start Workout, sip IntrAbolic throughout workout
6:30-6:45 – Finish workout, immediately Results/Recovery formula
7:15 – Shakeology mixed with whey and PB2, Breakfast
*note – I like to give the R/R about 30 minutes to “work” by itself before I add more nutrition into my body, because it is designed to refuel my body in the exact proportions that it comes in. That’s why I wait to do the Shake and breakfast.
If you workout later in the day, you won’t have to go to as much effort to make sure your body is fueled before the workout (your normal meals will take care of that), but you should still time your pre-workout and your recovery drink just like I am, and then wait about 30 minutes to take in anything else after your recovery drink.
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