Workout Nutrition vs. Calories


New Member
I focus on pre- & post- workout nutrition, but not on total caloric intake. In other words, I take HS:CRE, PRIME+ & DRIVE+, but otherwise only eat when I'm hungry. Will I still see significant growth, or is it impossible to grow without a caloric surplus?
497 posts and you still are wondering about that.....
Sure you can grow if you are eating enough. The question is, are you? without a way of tracking it you can only go by the scale and your body composition, are you gaining weight? Adding Size? this will tell you.
I asked this question hypothetically - not actually doing this. I'm wondering what percentage of growth actually comes from pre- & post- workout nutrition vs. total caloric intake.
From my understanding, pre and post workout nutrition won't matter at all if you aren't eating enough total calories throughout the day. If you have to choose between proper nutrition around your workout or eating over maintenance each day, choose to eat over maintenance. Missing a protein shake after your workout won't kill you as long as you get enough food in your stomach during the day.
i've run out of protein shakes and i feel like death in the gym a while ago. thanks for this thread, i'm just going to eat some canned tuna later.
You MUST have the caloric surplus. Reread the Diet & Nutrition FAQ. This is really full of all the "good stuff" you need to know. I find myself reviewing it every couple weeks.

So, to chop that up a little bit to answer your question:

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Calories should be high. Take bodyweight and multiply it by 18 or 20 depending on fat gain. This should give you about 500 to 1,000 above maintenance. Protein should be at least 0.8-1 gram per pound of bodyweight. Avoid saturated fat (within reason).
Take a protein supplement before and after training. Use creatine as well. EFAs should be included (Fish oil and CLA).
Actually, most guys take in too much protein. It isn't that too much protein will hurt them - assuming they are healthy to begin with - but too much protein can actually inhibit gains. I know, it sounds totally contradictory to what you read everywhere, but it is true. Let me explain.
The ability of the body to grow is effected by the ratio of protein to carbs. It is an inverted U shaped curve - or bell curve - where the top or highest point of the curve is a ratio of 12-15% protein to carbs (diet consisting of ~15% protein). At one peak you have all carbs, at the other you have all protein. It has to do with thermogenesis and hormones.
So, if a skinny guy wants to gain weight, he needs to plan a diet where he gets 15% of his calories from protein.
Now this may seem contradictory to the general rule of 1 gram per pound bodyweight. I'm not saying that a guy can't gain weight with more than 15% calories from protein, I'm only saying that weight gain is greatest at 15%. He will be ok with an intake of 0.75 grams/pound FFM to gain muscle. In fact, everybody should use FFM instead of bodyweight to plan protein intake, but sometimes it's just too hard to figure it out, so most people use bodyweight.
For a guy who isn't all that skinny, or even a little fat, he should increase his protien intake to 20-25%. This will increase thermogenesis and prevent some fat gain as calories increase above maintenance.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]So, as far as you and I are concerned, we need both protein and carbs to get our muscle to respond well to lifting weights. I deally, you will consume your protein and a few carbs both immediately before and after training. This is the whole reason why I formulated my pre and post workout proteins. So that if you took them right, you would icnrease your chances of growing as much as possible. Add a few carbs to them and you are set.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]Anyway, my point is this, Take your protein without (or with less) carbs immediately after you workout. This will allow more amino acids to skirt past your enterocytes and liver and make it into the blood stream where they are taken up by skeletal muscle. Then take your carbs one hour later, which still allows you to take advantage of the metabolic "window" post workout.

[b said:
Quote[/b] ]several small meals aren't as important as you might think. You can get the same benefit from eating meals that take a long time to digest (e.g steak, fiber, fat). However, in the period immediately surrounding your workout, I would suggest a small meal both before and after. Ideally they would be liquid meals. Then a big slow digesting meal 1-2 hours later.
If you are dieting, many small meals can help retain some mass by preventing acidosis and controling appetite.
Consistant macronutrient ratios throughout the day are not as important as you might think either. I wouldn't worry too much about it. However, do not compromise on your meals immediately before and after your workout. These should never be without protein.

So to some up, your pre & post workout meals are the most important. The rest of you day, you are most concerned with eating enough good calories - complex carbs, EFAs, & protein. Really if you are taking Prime+ & Drive+, for the rest of the day just eat clean & make sure that you are getting at least 500 calories over mainenance.