Very Early AM Training and Pre Workout Nutrition

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    Very Early AM Training and Pre Workout Nutrition


    I have seen many discussions regarding pre/during/post workout nutrition. I have learned a lot about various carb types and timing and their effect on my body composition. What I need to nail down with a bit more 'solid' certainty is the issue of pre/during workout nutrition and timing.

    I wake at the wee hour of 3:45-4:00AM depending upon my training time/volume. I train in my garage and need to leave for work by 5:15AM. So assuming I have a 35-45min training session planned. I need to be warmed-up and close to perfroming my working sets by 4:15-20 at the very latest. I need to be done and jumping into the shower by 5:05-5:10.

    I am most concerned about this in the cutting mode, but want improvement and increased knowledge in this regardless of dieting phase.

    Here are my concerns and questions. If I am just waking up I am coming off of a potentially catabolic situation with a reasonable gap in meals from the night before to my breakfast/pre workout shake. I do make a practice of having a slow digesting protein source in the form of a solid food shortly before bed. I do not have the opportunity to have had a solid meal within an hour or two of my training.

    So my question is...
    What does my pre w/o shake need to consist of to be benefitial to me for anabolism and training performance, and still be able to be assimilated/digested into my system quickly enough to be available to provide this support. I have made a practice in the past to have this shake consist of a low amount (20-25g) of dex and whey protein (25-50 depending of goals). I have consumed half of it 15-20mins pre and dilute down the balance and sip on it during workout. I usually follow up my workout immediately with whey (25-50g) and a low GI carb (25-50g) depending upon goals.

    I am not looking for the "this is what I use and it works for me" kind of responses. We are all different and I have experimented with many variations. I want to know more about the physical science part, capabilities, requirements and or limitation so that I can understand better how the ideal way to do this would be and then see if I can implement it effectively in my diet.

    Sorry for the long windedness of my post.
    Thanks in advance for the input.

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    Found this on John Berardi's website. You should find it somewhat helpful. If you want to know more go to http://www.johnberardi.com/index.htm

    AM Training and Nutrition

    Q: I train early in the morning, soon after waking up. I know this isn't ideal, but it's truly the only time I have. What can I do diet-wise to maximize my efforts? What should I eat before training, if anything? What should I consume during training? After? When should I eat my first solid meal? How many times should I chew it? Help!

    A: Let's put things into their proper perspective. The most important thing is that you're getting up and draggin' your glutes to the gym. Yes, my focus is nutrition, but in terms of a trainee's hierarchy of needs, find your way to the gym first and then worry about nutrition. After all, slightly sub-optimal training and nutrition is better than no training and piss poor nutrition. So keep up the good work.

    Now, to take it the next step and optimize your personal situation, let's consider the nutritional needs you have when training in the AM. Since it's probably been about eight hours since you've last eaten, your liver is probably somewhat depleted of its glycogen (stored glucose). The liver giving up its glycogen in the form of glucose is one of the only ways for the body to maintain an adequate concentration of glucose in your blood, especially overnight. Without adequate blood glucose, not only will your workout suffer, that little thing you call living and breathing will also suffer.

    Since there's no dietary glucose coming into the blood while you sleep, the liver must deplete itself in an attempt to supply this blood glucose. But in the morning, even with the liver's efforts, blood glucose is probably lower than it needs to be for optimal functioning, especially in the gym. So the morning is the time that one should begin to normalize blood glucose and replenish the liver glycogen with food. Although the main focus at this time should be the carbohydrate situation in the body, understand that blood amino acid content is low in the morning as well and this isn't the ideal scenario to "get your bulk on."

    Since waking up and beginning your day will require significantly more calories than sleeping, and your body is already running on stored energy, the body must begin to rely even more on stored calories to function. Those calories will come from fats, carbohydrates, and protein. However, assuming you did eat within the last eight hours or so, you're not necessarily "catabolic" in terms of muscle mass (when you're doing normal morning things).

    What you're simply doing is breaking down stored glucose in the liver to manage blood glucose, stored glucose in the muscle to provide for muscle contraction, and stored fat within the muscle and from adipose tissue to also provide for energy needs. Ultimately, if this "fasting" situation persists, muscle loss begins. But getting up, draining the plumbing, brushing the teeth, and waxing the moustache won't make you catabolic.

    However, head to the gym and start exercising with this physiological situation and things take a turn for the worse. Since weight training uses predominantly glucose for energy, and your blood glucose and muscle and liver glycogen stores are low, your training intensity won't be statistically different from zero unless you provide some carbohydrate. In addition, even this small amount of stress on the muscles will begin to tax the protein reserves. Without adequate amino acids in the blood, say goodbye to your dreams of building those peptide chains you call muscles.

    So in the end, training after an overnight fast is a mistake because strength and intensity will be lower than they should be and your efforts in the gym will slowly eat away at the muscle. So how can you remedy this situation and ensure optimum intake? Well, as I've written before:

    1) Weight Trainers: Eat a protein and fat meal about two hours before training. This will provide the body with adequate calories and spare muscle glycogen for the exercise effort to come.

    Endurance and Interval Trainers: Eat a carbohydrate and protein meal about two hours before training. This will help restore liver and muscle glycogen as this type of exercise is severely glycogen depleting and you may simply run out of gas if these tanks aren't "topped off."

    2) All Athletes: Drink 1/2 - 1 serving of a fast-digesting protein and carbohydrate drink like Biotest Surge during training to spare muscle protein, force a positive protein balance, and to maintain blood glucose.

    3) All Athletes: Drink 1/2 - 1 serving of a fast digesting protein and carbohydrate drink like Biotest Surge immediately after training to promote recovery.

    4) Eat a solid food meal that's moderate to high in carbohydrate and protein with little fat about an hour or two after training. This will help promote recovery and enhance glycogen resynthesis for your next workout.
    But, with your morning workouts, that doesn't work for you, does it? Well, for all those reading this who can eat two hours before training, use the above schedule. But for you guys rushing off to the gym as soon as the sun pops up (or earlier), here's what you need to do.

    1) Regardless of your exercise, begin drinking a specially concocted beverage within ten minutes of beginning your workout (in the car if necessary). This beverage should contain 1/2 - 1 serving of a fast digesting protein and carbohydrate drink like Biotest Surge and an additional serving of Gatorade or other simple carbohydrate powder (an additional 33 to 40 grams of carbohydrate above that already in Surge). This will provide adequate blood glucose and help accelerate glycogen synthesis in the liver and muscle.

    2) Drink 1/2 - 1 serving of a fast digesting protein and carb drink like Biotest Surge immediately after training.

    3) Eat a solid food meal that's moderate to high in carbohydrate with little fat in it, about one to two hours after training.
    This program, while not as complete as the first, will yield comparable results in terms of muscle mass gain. The failure to replenish glycogen completely after the overnight fast may cause your workout intensity to suffer a bit (if you're doing high intensity anaerobic interval training or aerobic training), but it won't be terribly detrimental to a normal weight trainer.
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    Wow. That seems like solid info.

    - natedogg

    It would seem like it would be hard to get enough/proper sleep with that schedule, but I guess a lot of 'early shift' workers do it everyday... it would be hard for me.
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    I would say wake and immediately down 20g sucrose and 20g dex or malto with a decent(30-50g) serving of whey.

    This will ensure Liver glycogen is repleted(from the fructose) and blood sugar will stay stable. The whey is there for obvious reasons.

    Post workout hit another 30ish grams of whey with some oats(in a shaker cup with water). This should keep a constant flow of carbs in your system until you can eat a decent meal. The amount of carbs would depend on goals. Try to get most of your carbs around your workouts(I am sure you know this already).

    You would probably be best getting some egg, maybe milk protein a little while after the post workout shake(30mins or so) to keep a constant flow of Aminos until you can get another meal as the whey will absorb pretty fast.

    A few good(and cheap) additions to the pre workout shake would be:

    2g ALCAR
    2g tyrosine
    3g choline
    maybe some caffeine.

    This should help you with the early morning energy. I cant imagine working out @ 4AM.
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    It does appear that based on what's been stated in your replies that I am for the most part on the right track. I knew that I was. But I was hoping for some more... which is why I opened it for deeper discussion.

    Like, for example;
    How quickly can I actually get that CHO (choice of carbs) and whey digested and in my bloodstream for utilization.
    Which source of carbs would be best and which are the ones to avoid.
    Is there a rate limit and or a g/lb that would be the minimum and maximum that I could utilize during such a brief period.
    I have experimented myself back to a desire for more specific values.

    Not that I don't appreciate your replies. I hate to be on the "WWBD" band wagon, but I would like to hear what he has to say as well. Hoping he will contribute.

    *What Would Bobo Do
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    I'll tell you what Lean one would do.

    I like a lot of what JB has to say. The bottom line is that if you're training that soon after waking, glucose,whey +some aminos. is the way to go. A low GI shake PWO will get you to your next meal. The previous"posters are preuty much right on. I wish i could give you more axact details but, I think you're smart enough to figure it out. Sometimes it just takes trial and error.

    BTW, The capital B looks way better.
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    one aspect of pre w/o nutrition (for the early morning trainer) that should not be overlooked is the meal you have before bed.

    i know about the "NO CARBS BEFORE BED" rule but i feel a meal with a decent amount of complex carbs an hour or so before bed helps me sleep great, wake up great & pump up good the next morning.

    Jag
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jag
    one aspect of pre w/o nutrition (for the early morning trainer) that should not be overlooked is the meal you have before bed.

    i know about the "NO CARBS BEFORE BED" rule but i feel a meal with a decent amount of complex carbs an hour or so before bed helps me sleep great, wake up great & pump up good the next morning.

    Jag
    I concur.
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    Thanks again guys. I have been doing it right, which is as you guys suggested, and I have had good results. I sometimes need to get a confirmation. It is just a matter of reading it in some one elses post

    Carbs before bed. If I could do that they would call me LO-II

    The B does look much better
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    Thanks again guys for the confirmation. I had been considering an ALCAR (energy/volumization) stack before meathead mentioned it here, and because of his reminder I began further research. So I will add these inquiries to this thread rather than starting another one.
    (copy and paste of a PM where I discussed this with a trusted friend and member)

    Energy:
    Acetyl-L-Carnitine
    Choline
    L-Tyrosine

    My research has shown me that the ALCAR and choline are complimentary and synergistic. L-Tyrosine for stimulant, as well as the caffeine from my very dark cup of java in the morning.

    Volume:
    Betaine HCL
    Taurine

    I have used the taurine and like it a lot. My rearch has shown me that Betaine HCL enhances the volumizing effects of taurine.

    Volume Inquiries:
    Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL
    DiCreatine Malate
    Citrulline Malate

    I'm looking for the ATP and volume that accompanies these without the effects (bloat) that I get from mono. I'm leaning towards the CEE or the Di or both. The Citruline is supposed to be better at recovery and endurance rather than volume. I believe it processes urea out of our systems to aide in recovery and endurance. I'm only training (weights) for 45 mins now...plus its a bit more money than the others.

    What I was thinking of is a stack that looks like this

    Pre Workout (with whey and dex):
    ALCAR - 2g
    Choline - 2g
    L-Tyrosine - 2g
    Betaine HCL - 2g
    Taurine - 5g
    CEE HCL - 2g (w/Di or solo...undecided)
    DiCreatine Malate - 2g (w/CEE or solo...undecided)
    Citrulline Malate - optional/undecided

    May or may not include 25mg E-HCL/200mg-C (my bread and butter). Keep in mind I am after a fast acting energy boost. I'm limited to pre workout time as I still have to wake at the crack of (insert female) to train. So I will down it, follow with my coffee, as I make my way the the garage to set-up/warm-up for my workout. 10-15 mins before warm-ups start and a few minutes until working sets commence.

    I'm more interested in discussing the differences/synergies of the CEE, DiC, and CM and their respective contributions to muscle volume and or quick energy.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by David Dunn; 03-14-2005 at 08:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by B5150
    Thanks again guys for the confirmation. I had been considering an ALCAR (energy/volumization) stack before meathead mentioned it here, and because of his reminder I began further research. So I will add these inquiries to this thread rather than starting another one.
    (copy and paste of a PM where I discussed this with a trusted friend and member)

    Energy:
    Acetyl-L-Carnitine
    Choline
    L-Tyrosine

    My research has shown me that the ALCAR and choline are complimentary and synergistic. L-Tyrosine for stimulant, as well as the caffeine from my very dark cup of java in the morning.

    Volume:
    Betaine HCL
    Taurine

    I have used the taurine and like it a lot. My rearch has shown me that Betaine HCL enhances the volumizing effects of taurine.

    Volume Inquiries:
    Creatine Ethyl Ester HCL
    DiCreatine Malate
    Citrulline Malate

    I'm looking for the ATP and volume that accompanies these without the effects (bloat) that I get from mono. I'm leaning towards the CEE or the Di or both. The Citruline is supposed to be better at recovery and endurance rather than volume. I believe it processes urea out of our systems to aide in recovery and endurance. I'm only training (weights) for 45 mins now...plus its a bit more money than the others.

    What I was thinking of is a stack that looks like this

    Pre Workout (with whey and dex):
    ALCAR - 2g
    Choline - 2g
    L-Tyrosine - 2g
    Betaine HCL - 2g
    Taurine - 5g
    CEE HCL - 2g (w/Di or solo...undecided)
    DiCreatine Malate - 2g (w/CEE or solo...undecided)
    Citrulline Malate - optional/undecided

    May or may not include 25mg E-HCL/200mg-C (my bread and butter). Keep in mind I am after a fast acting energy boost. I'm limited to pre workout time as I still have to wake at the crack of (insert female) to train. So I will down it, follow with my coffee, as I make my way the the garage to set-up/warm-up for my workout. 10-15 mins before warm-ups start and a few minutes until working sets commence.

    I'm more interested in discussing the differences/synergies of the CEE, DiC, and CM and their respective contributions to muscle volume and or quick energy.

    Thanks.
    CEE will provide excellent pumps, volumisation and strength. It is also damn cheap. Definately use it @ ~2-3g pre workout

    I see no point in using DiCreatine malate if using CEE.

    CM is indeed more for endurance and can get quite pricey when dosing @ 6g+ a day. I have found though that it does increase weight lifting performance in a way I cant really put into words. Here is an example:

    Without CM your sets may be like this:

    50lbs x11
    50lbs x9
    50lbs x8

    CM seems to increase output in the latter sets. So more like this:

    50lbs x11
    50lbs x11
    50lbs x11

    It does give excellent pumps also (better than CEE alone)
    This is what I would do

    Pre Workout (with whey and dex):
    ALCAR - 2g
    Choline 3-4g(1.5-2x as much choline as ALCAR. Do not use bitartrate as it has terrible absorbtion. Citrate is the most cost effective version I think, gollowed by alpha GPC which you would need ~500-1000mg a time of
    L-Tyrosine - 2g
    Betaine HCL - 3g
    Taurine - 5g
    CEE HCL - 2-3g
    Citrulline Malate 3-4g if you wanna put out the cash. With another 2-3g at another time of the day
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    Thanks meathead...
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    OK, finalized my initial new pre stack. I have been a bread and butter E/C (cyclo-diol...when on) man for a long time. I may add or subtract as I experiment more. I may or may not continue with the E/C, depending upon my response and or tolerance to the combo. Should be in my possession before the end of week.

    Pre Workout (with whey and dex):
    ALCAR - 2g
    Choline Citrate- 3g
    L-Tyrosine - 2g
    Betaine HCL - 3g
    Taurine - 5g
    CEE HCL - 3g

    BTW, meathead...I know you are "schooled" in the proper research skills. We come from the same place (so to speak) and I know your suggestions are backed-up with decent leg work. My conclusions (limited research time) were in line with what you suggested. You saved me some time, as I am so short of it these days, and I appreciate it. Just thought I'd let you know...
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    Quote Originally Posted by B5150
    OK, finalized my initial new pre stack. I have been a bread and butter E/C (cyclo-diol...when on) man for a long time. I may add or subtract as I experiment more. I may or may not continue with the E/C, depending upon my response and or tolerance to the combo. Should be in my possession before the end of week.

    Pre Workout (with whey and dex):
    ALCAR - 2g
    Choline Citrate- 3g
    L-Tyrosine - 2g
    Betaine HCL - 3g
    Taurine - 5g
    CEE HCL - 3g

    BTW, meathead...I know you are "schooled" in the proper research skills. We come from the same place (so to speak) and I know your suggestions are backed-up with decent leg work. My conclusions (limited research time) were in line with what you suggested. You saved me some time, as I am so short of it these days, and I appreciate it. Just thought I'd let you know...


    One final thing. I do notice that ephedrine does add an extra kick to the stack you posted but I do build a tolerance to it if I use it for too long. When I go for more than ~4weeks a time I seem to need ~50mg for a decent boost. After a couple of weeks off though I can feel its addition to the combo at ~25mg.

    The E also gave me somewhat of a crash that the other stack does not.

    You could also use cyclo-Diol 1-2x a week while off cycle if you wanted. Or maybe even M5AA.

    The surpression will be non existant because of the small dose, short half life and only being used 1-2x a week. Working out early in the AM will also ensure it doesnt interfere with the bodies own largest surge of Test(when you go to sleep).
  

  
 

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