Podcast Episode 1 Transcript – Peri-Workout Nutrition

The Ideal Nutrition Podcast

Aidan

00:00:08 – 00:00:41

Hello. Welcome to The Ideal Nutrition Podcast. This is Episode 1 and I am one of your hosts, Aidan Muir. And I am here with my co-host, Leah Higl. And because it’s Episode 1, we wanted to keep it pretty broad. So what we’re gonna be talking about today is peri-workout nutrition. So nutrition, pre-workout, intra-workout and, post-workout. Because pretty much everybody who follows us does some form of training that would be pretty relevant. So we’ll start there. Leah, do you want to kick us off with pre-workout nutrition?

Leah

00:00:41 – 00:01:25

Alright, so kicking it off with pre-training nutrition, so keeping it pretty simple. First thing you wanna do is try to have a fairly decent meal 2 to 3 hours before heading into your training session. Ideally, this would be pretty carbohydrate-rich, but lower in fats and fiber. So the things that are really going to delay digestion so you want that carbohydrate availability to happen around the time of your session. So the more fat and fiber you have in that meal, the slower it will generally take to digest. In regards to protein in that meal, you don’t have to be too mindful the further away it is from your actual session, the higher it can be in those things that do delay digestion.

Leah

00:01:25 – 00:02:01

You will want something kind of close to your sessions. Some carbohydrate-rich snack within 1 to 2 hours before starting. So, ideally, 20 to 30 grams of really easily digestible quick-acting carbohydrates is what you want there. So you could go for something like fruit, rice cakes, and honey. A jam sandwich, even on kind of a lower fiber white bread would be a great option or something like a muesli bar. And again, that’s kind of close to the session, 1 to 2 hours. The closer to the session, again, the lower you’ll want it to be in things like fiber and fat.

Aidan

00:02:01 – 00:02:33

The big thing, I would add to that is making sure that you feel good for the training session. That’s the number one priority. Like, I wouldn’t overthink this too much, and it’s pretty individual as well, like, I have met some people who, if they’re pretty rare. But if they did that exact same protocol, it would be too close to a session like they feel like they need to throw up during the session. Or alternatively, for some people, they can eat a massive meal pretty much right before they train and feel fine. So it is pretty individual, but like, that’s the gold standard. That kind of protocol is what has worked well for most of my clients.

Aidan

00:02:33 – 00:02:55

Another thing I’d add onto this and this is going to line up with the whole concept of peri-workout nutrition as well is you don’t prioritize this above other important things, like the big one that comes to my mind whenever we talk about this and being like I haven’t meal three hours before you train is people are gonna talk about sleep and they’re gonna be like, oh, but I train first thing in the morning and

Aidan

00:02:55 – 00:03:25

obviously, you don’t sacrifice sleep to get in this middle like you don’t wake up super-super early to get this meal in, like, three hours before you train or whatever. Use a little bit of common sense. Sleep is super important, so you make sure you prioritize that, and maybe in that scenario, you could have something small before you train like that small snack leader was talking about, like a piece of fruit, rice cakes, toast, or something like that. And the last thing we want to touch on with that, as well as also just being like it’s fine to train fasted, like,

Aidan

00:03:25 – 00:03:53

it’s not ideal for performance, like, you’re trying to get the best of your session. You probably don’t want to be doing that if you’re going in for, like a massive, like deadlift session or something like that. Probably not the best idea. But if you have to do it, it’s better than not training. It’s still a no-brainer, like, it’s not the end of the world. It’s just not perfect for performance. Is there anything else you want to touch on that? Did you want to talk about the whole train? Low sleep high or sleep low, trained, high kind of concept or anything like that?

Leah

00:03:53 – 00:04:26

Yes. So a lot of endurance athletes, well, many endurance athletes will use this concept of training low, so meaning that they are going into their training, either fasted or they’re having a meal that’s pretty low in carbohydrates, and maybe it’s just a protein-based meal. Basically, they’re using that in order to… for their session, to have certain adapt adaptations, so that they’re able to burn fat as fuel more effectively. It’s questionable whether how effective that actually is, but some endurance athletes will use that protocol.

Aidan

00:04:26 – 00:04:49

Yeah, it makes sense because there is low-carb adaptations that occur. There’s a reason why people do it. There’s a reason why it’s not like… if you look at the data, yes, a high-carb diet seemed to come out slightly superior for performance and stuff like that. But it’s not like this massive, massive difference, and part of that’s because there is some positive adaptations that occur. So some people do it intentionally to try and get the best of both worlds.

Aidan

00:04:49 – 00:05:27

I’m still not fully solving this, and I’m not seeing data showing that that’s coming out superior. But like the goal of that is basically some of your sessions you could go into in a low-carb state. Other sessions you go into a high-carb state. You kind of get the best of both worlds, not really relevant for like resistance training, athletes like strength, athletes and stuff like that. I can see it for endurance athletes, but it’s also not something on practically using on a regular basis as well. But that also kind of feeds into the concept of where I was talking about being on that. It’s OK to do a faster session every now and then because, particularly for endurance athletes and some people who are intentionally going out of their way to do that anyway. So it’s pretty fine to be doing that.

Aidan

00:05:27 – 00:06:07

The next thing we’re going to talk about is during training. So intra-workout nutrition, we’re probably just gonna focus mostly on lifters to this one. I feel like that’s the most relevant, like, for people who are endurance athletes and are doing, say, two-plus hour sessions. I think it’s a good idea to have carbs coming on during the session, but I feel like that’s a separate podcast in itself. I mostly want to be talking about kind of shorter sessions, less than two hours, and probably just kind of your stock standard kind of work out, whether it’s, general workout or whether it’s like specifically somewhere doing like powerlifting style training, which is obviously our biggest interest. For powerlifters, Leah, do you reckon there should be anything had intra-workout?

Leah

00:06:07 – 00:06:29

For most people no. I mean, outside of competition day, maybe a very long training session. If you’re training for, like, three-plus hours, maybe there’s some argument there that you’ll have something small like you will see lifters with lollies in the gym. So I think there’s a time in a place. But most of the time you just don’t need that carbohydrate availability for strength training.

Aidan

00:06:29 – 00:06:40

Yeah, and a conversation that we’ve both kinds of had is like we care about our own lifting and if we thought something mattered, we do it, and, like, we both do to our sessions, and we don’t have intra or other stuff like…

Leah

00:06:40 – 00:06:41

Definitely not.

Aidan

00:06:41 – 00:06:55

It’s not a big priority, but I’m also not against it. One of the things I want to touch on is a little bit about glycogen, so glycogen is a storage form of carbohydrates, or it’s the storage form of glucose, and glucose is our best fuel source when training.

Aidan

00:06:55 – 00:07:35

Part of the reason why we say this intra-workout stuff doesn’t really matter for lifters is partly because it just doesn’t seem like glycogen matters that much. But there is a little bit of research to kind of make it seem like it still matters a little bit like you should still care about your carbohydrate timing. Both pre or during it could be either or it doesn’t have to be both. And some of the research I want to touch on is the fact that when most people say glycogen doesn’t matter for lifters, they’re typically talking about studies where people have done like three sets of curls to failure, and that led to a 24% decrease in glycogen or the other, most commonly one that’s referenced I see is a study that had six sets of

Aidan

00:07:35 – 00:08:11

12 right max leg extensions to failure, and that resulted in a 38% decrease in total glycogen. But even if you dig deeper through those studies, it probably makes it seems like glycogen matters a little bit, like, with that 38% decrease in total glycogen. Firstly, that’s only six sets. Most lifters are doing more than six sets when they’re training legs like it’s going to be a little bit more than that, and that was also total glycogen. A lot of that depletion came from Type II fibers, which therefore means it’s actually a lot more than 38%. That has actually gone on. And to dig a little bit deeper than that as well, it’s not exactly like

Aidan

00:08:11 – 00:08:47

a fuel tank. Like, I used to talk about glycogen in terms of it being like in a marathon. People hit the wall and hitting the wall is when they run out of glycogen, and that’s when race time slowed down. It’s not actually that clear-cut, though. It’s more like as glycogen kind of depletes, performance drops off. So, if you would come into a session under fuelled and you didn’t have much glycogen to start or you weren’t completely fully stocked up on glycogen, you can make an argument that intra-workout nutrition could help you for those last couple of reps and sets here and there. And the other thing that I also want to touch on is you want to feel good when you’re training,

Aidan

00:08:47 – 00:09:09

which is going to lead to something we’ll talk about a little bit later as well. But like you wanna feel good when you’re training and some powerlifters get hungry in this session and which is eating something or make them feel better when they’re training. Did you have anything to touch on with that, or did you want to talk about the next thing we want to talk about, which was like intra-workout, BCAAs, or essential amino acids, or anything like that?

Leah

00:09:09 – 00:09:13

No, I think you covered glycogen pretty well. So happy to move on to the rest.

Aidan

00:09:13 – 00:09:20

Yeah, so BCAAs o EAAs. Do you think any benefit from that intra-workout?

Leah

00:09:20 – 00:09:48

Look, I always think that the priority is looking at your daily intake and prioritizing hitting your protein requirements. Overtaking any kind of essential amino acids or branched-chain amino acids, the research for those particular kinds of supplements in strength training really only shows an effect when your protein intake is inadequate. So I think meeting your daily requirements means a lot more. And I’d probably pass on those for sure.

Aidan

00:09:48 – 00:10:25

Yeah, 100%. Like, if you’re getting high enough total protein intake, particularly around training as well. You’ve just got this abundance of essential amino acids anyway like it’s just adding these essential amino acids or BCAAs. Either of those two, they are separate things, but it’s almost interchangeable. You’re just adding more of that onto something that you’ve already got an abundance of. Anyway. What I was saying that I want to touch on again, though, is feeling good when you train. This is pretty anecdotal, and I have met quite a few people here and there who have been like, I just feel better when I have them and I like the taste and blah, blah, blah, and they have them. I’m like, I’m not opposed that, like, if you legitimately feel better at the end of a two-hour session because you are

Aidan

00:10:25 – 00:10:59

sick, it’s probably helpful, like it’s not because it’s magical. It’s not because it’s helping you build muscle or anything like that. But if you feel good, like go for it. It’s not the end of the world. I’d encourage doing stuff that makes you feel good. So, let us onto the next topic. So, post-workout nutrition. So, I think I’ll start with that one. I just want to talk about obviously the big thing most people talk about is protein and the anabolic window. Um, I’ll kick it over the layer with how much assuming this anabolic window is a thing. How much protein should we be having in that anabolic window?

Leah

00:10:59 – 00:11:41

Yeah, so, ideally, we’d be getting about 0.4 grams per kilo body weight of protein somewhere within that window. So, in terms of what that window is, it’s 3 to 5 hours around your training session, so you can have your protein, pre-training or post-training, as long as it’s somewhere within that window. I try to make sure it’s a high-quality source of protein. So, particularly if you’re say, plant-based, you’re going for protein combining or, you know, looking at soy. And then, if you’re not plant-based, going for your animal protein sources predominantly. So making sure it is high-quality and you’re getting enough for most people probably around 30 to 40 grams. Would you say that would be adequate?

Aidan

00:11:41 – 00:12:16

I’d say for smaller people, maybe 20 grams, but larger people up to 40 grams, and this is a pretty key one to like. It’s actually worth sitting down and actually looking at this, like, I see a few people on Instagram being like, oh yeah, peanut butter on toast. First, it works as a good protein source to furnish my muscles. Or I had, like, two eggs or something like that. And when you do the math on that, like for both of those those come out about 10 grams of protein. It’s like you’re really not ticking this box if you’re not doing that. And like it’s not a hard box to tick like it’s just, like have some form of protein around the time that you work out. It’s not the most important thing. Total protein intake is so much more important than doing this.

Aidan

00:12:16 – 00:12:43

But it makes sense to do this. And I suppose the other thing that also in touch on that is like we talk about numbers like 20 to 40 grams of protein. You can go higher than that like that’s fine if you go higher than that as well. This is more about a kind of minimum number that you wanna tick or a good amount that you wanna hit to kind of optimize muscle protein synthesis or muscle growth post-workout. The other stuff that we should really talk about is carbohydrates, carbohydrates, post-workout. Do you think they matter?

Leah

00:12:43 – 00:13:21

It depends. It depends on when your next session is. If you’re, say, strength training, athletes are talking in that context, and you’re training once every 24 to 48 hours, replenishing those carbohydrates right away. Not super important. I’d be more focused on your day-to-day intake and just meeting your general daily requirements. Although if you do have a session coming up so, say, you’re an endurance athlete, you train multiple times a day, different modalities, then there could definitely be an argument there that you should replenish your carbohydrate or glycogen source directly after a session in preparation for your next one.

Aidan

00:13:21 – 00:13:32

For sure, sums up pretty well. I don’t know if you touched, and I kind of zoned out while I was trying to read the next section, but I was looking at it in terms of muscle protein synthesis, some people talk, did you touch on muscle protein synthesis?

Leah

00:13:32 – 00:13:33

I did not, yeah.

Aidan

00:13:33 – 00:14:01

Cool, so muscle protein synthesis. Some people make the claim that because adding carbohydrates helps to spike insulin, which will shuttle protein into your muscles, some people talk about that. But it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t really. If your protein is already high enough, it doesn’t seem to add any additional benefit to that. And protein also raises insulin, like protein itself does the same kind of job, and what really matters and what we really care about is outcomes. It doesn’t seem to make any difference in terms of muscle growth. By doing that,

Aidan

00:14:01 – 00:14:18

it’s more just about hitting your total carbohydrate kind of needs over the day unless you’ve got that additional session kind of coming up. The last topic that will touch on before really wrapping this up is hydration. So just a bit of a summary on that, this is, honestly, an easy one. Leah, what’s important with hydration?

Aidan

00:14:18 – 00:14:31

I think a lot of people overthink hydration. It’s really basic. You drink to your thirst, and that usually covers most of your bases. I would say for most athletes there,

Aidan

00:14:31 – 00:14:32

it might be reasonable

Leah

00:14:32 – 00:15:00

to just keep an eye on the color of your urine, making sure it’s mostly a straw pale yellow, too clear even. But outside of that, I wouldn’t have a very specific plan in regards to hydration for a lot of sports. If you are doing endurance sports, where dehydration could be more of an issue during training and during sessions, I just say generally as a good rule of thumb would be to avoid losing over 2% of your body weight from dehydration.

Aidan

00:15:00 – 00:15:39

Cool, so basically total daily intake is far, far, far more important than peri-workout nutrition. It still matters if you’re trying to do every single thing you can, it makes sense to do this. But I’m not joking, I have worked with some clients who have prioritized it above everything, and they’ve been like, there’s one client was working with, was having over 100 grams of sugar around the time of their workout because of this whole glycogen kind of thing, and they weren’t able to get enough protein because they kept overshooting their calories because they’re having a tonne of sugar around that section. It’s like we’ve got to use a bit of common sense, so don’t prioritize this, but it can be that thing that takes you to the next level,

Aidan

00:15:39 – 00:15:51

it can be that thing that allows you to better performance. And if you have a better performance every time you step in the gym or every time you train that’s surely going to carry over two things down the line. Is there anything else you want to wrap up with this layer?

Leah

00:15:51 – 00:16:05

No, I guess you’ve wrapped it up pretty well in just saying that your total daily intake is the priority. Nutrient timing is a secondary thing. So, you’ve really got to take that first box before moving on to the second and, again, just not overthinking it.

Aidan

00:16:05 – 00:16:54

Awesome. Well, this concludes Episode one. If you, guys, have any feedback, this is our first podcast. I don’t expect it to be great, but if you have feedback, I’d love to hear it. So, hit us up on Instagram. That’s the easiest way. So, add @aidan_the_dietitian or for Leah, @plantstrong_dietitian. Beyond that, the classic wrap-up of the podcast. If you can rate and review us on iTunes, that would also be incredibly appreciated because apparently super important in the first couple of weeks to get all these ratings to get onto the charts and stuff like that. And apart from that, I want to say thank everybody listens. I really appreciate that. And I am super grateful for any form of support and stuff like that that we get to this podcast, too.