Early morning workout supplements

drakdaystar

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Hi everyone,

First time poster here.

I am an intermediate lifter and am currently trying to build muscle on a slight calorie deficit. I train early mornings and wake up at around 6:20am for a 7:45am workout so I don’t have time to squeeze in a full meal (although I can squeeze in small snacks). What would be the best thing for me to take before my workouts? I am currently taking C4 but is there a better pre-workout for my circumstances and is there something I should be eating before my workout?

Thanks!
 
The Solution

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Hi everyone,

First time poster here.

I am an intermediate lifter and am currently trying to build muscle on a slight calorie deficit.
Stop here
That is your issue
Your diet does not reflect your goal
You will need a SURPLUS of calories to BUILD muscle
You need a DEFICIT of calories to lose fat/weight

No supplement, pill, or powder will do that for you if you don't align your goals with a proper diet. My advice is to pick a goal, then focus on your nutrition first, not the supplements. Or else you will just spin your wheels trying to do both.



If Cutting Read the following:

https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/fat-loss-fundamentals/an-introduction-to-dieting-part-2.html/
https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/fat-loss-fundamentals/introduction-dieting-part-1.html/

I highly suggest you read here regarding your diet:

https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/causes-diet-failure-part-2.html/
https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-causes-diet-failure-part-1.html/

Meal Frequency & Pattern:
https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/meal-patterning-part-1-book-excerpt.html/

Exercise & Weightloss:
https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/exercise-and-weight-and-fat-loss-part-2.html/
https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/exercise-and-weight-fat-loss-part-1.html/

Fundamental Principles of Dieting:
https://bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/fundamental-principles-versus-minor-details.html/



If Trying to add some size:


Eat in a caloric surplus, meaning eating more kcals than you need to maintain in order to gain muscle, size, and strength.

http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/general-philosophies-of-muscle-mass-gain.html
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/macronutrient-intake-for-mass-gains-qa.html
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/training-frequency-for-mass-gains.html
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/muscle-gain/cardio-and-mass-gains.html

Philosophies, Macro intake, training , and cardio articles for you to understand and help set up what you need to do before moving forward towards more supplements or advanced workout routines.
 
Wobmarvel

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Not wanting to start a battle with the solution but you can gain muscle on a deficit. Depends what your starting body fat levels are. If someone is vastly overweight and eating say 4000 cals a day and relatively untrained (I get OP says itermediate lifter) then that person can lower cals and still gain muscle. It's only really if you go below the maintanance calories needed for your lean bodyweight that it becomes scientifically impossible... Just sayin'.
 
LeanEngineer

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The Solution gave you a ton of good advice with links to info. I'd say starting looking into those and then take action on your diet based on your goals.
 
The Solution

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Not wanting to start a battle with the solution but you can gain muscle on a deficit. Depends what your starting body fat levels are. If someone is vastly overweight and eating say 4000 cals a day and relatively untrained (I get OP says itermediate lifter) then that person can lower cals and still gain muscle. It's only really if you go below the maintanance calories needed for your lean bodyweight that it becomes scientifically impossible... Just sayin'.
Lets get to what OP wants
He wants to get from Point A to Point B with gaining muscle while trying to eat in a deficit.
You tell me what is going to be quicker. picking a goal or trying to do both when diet and goals don't align. most people don't have the patience to do a recomp for months upon months or even years in length to get to that desired goal.

Trying to come onto a board and think supplements are the issue at hand where he needs to address his nutrition is the key resolution to OP's situation. Weather he wants to train fasted or fed is totally up top him, but properly setting up his diet and macronutrient allocation will help him progress at a much faster rate then looking into a pre-workout supplement. He could drink coffee and get great results, but if something is not adding up he will never attain a goal while trying to eat in a deficit.

You can try and "Supplement" a diet all you want, but in the end it would be a lot of wasted time and money on OP's part if its not correlating towards reaching his desired outcome, and its not in check before trying to throw pills and powders into the mix and work magic.
 
Wobmarvel

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Don't know enough about him to be honest. He could be 30% body fat for all I know and in that situation advising to eat in a surplus is just plain wrong. In the past I've done a 6 month recomp going from 15 stone to 13 and a half whilst increasing the measurements of my arms, chest and shoulders. This was most definitely on a defecit. It wasn't a case of looking better because the fat was coming off and I wasn't on anabolics. I increased the amount of muscle I had. I was eating junk food all the time before I started and hadn't trained in about a year. I get that this is probably not the OPs situation but feel he should tell us more before advising.

I'm not trying to be a dick here, I know you have more lifting and diet experience in your little finger than I have probably gathered my whole life.

To say that you can't gain muscle in a defecit is just plain wrong as a blanket statement.
 
The Solution

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Don't know enough about him to be honest. He could be 30% body fat for all I know and in that situation advising to eat in a surplus is just plain wrong. In the past I've done a 6 month recomp going from 15 stone to 13 and a half whilst increasing the measurements of my arms, chest and shoulders. This was most definitely on a defecit. It wasn't a case of looking better because the fat was coming off and I wasn't on anabolics. I increased the amount of muscle I had. I was eating junk food all the time before I started and hadn't trained in about a year. I get that this is probably not the OPs situation but feel he should tell us more before advising.

I'm not trying to be a dick here, I know you have more lifting and diet experience in your little finger than I have probably gathered my whole life.

To say that you can't gain muscle in a defecit is just plain wrong as a blanket statement.
You are missing the point.
OP wants to come onto a board as an intermediate lifter, and the first thing he wants to do is buy supplements (pills or powders) while trying to gain muscle in a deficit.
Tell me how many people that do not have very good diets (what we don't know about) make much progress. What is the point of his thread --> To get stronger.. You won't do that if his diet is not in check #1. It doesn't matter how many pre-workouts, proteins, or amino acids he buys.

You can't supplement a bad diet.. we see it run rampant on these boards with how people can easily fling off hundreds of dollars in products but don't align their diet with their training for proper results.... and in the end they look the same year in and year out......

He can buy as many products as he wants, I don't expect OP to make proper progress if he doesn't have all his ducks in a row.
 

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Even though all above are right about looking into your diet and fix it,i would suggest to throw some eaas+cluster dextrine intra workout ala Meadows...the recovery is insane,especially if ur working out fasted..
 
The Solution

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The Solution,

Thanks for your advice this is very helpful! Looks like I will need to bump up my calories.

A bit more background on me - I am ~75kgs at ~11% body fat, started at ~82kgs at ~18% body fat 9 weeks ago with an aggressive cut so I’m just building the calories back up now to build muscle but looks like I need to actually go into a caloric surplus.

Because I want to maximise the effectiveness of my workouts in the morning, I want to be able to eat / take the right pre-workout supplements and then plan the rest of my meals around that. Given what I’ve described above, what would you recommend I should eat / take before my early morning workouts?

Thanks!
Read the links
It outlines everything for you for nutrition, meal timing, frequency, and also how to attain your diet to suit your goal
What you want to eat is up to you, what you digest, what you have food tolerances to.
Do you train better in a fasted or fed state?
Do you train better if you carb backload the night before

There are too many variables to just say Eat X or Y and Take X or Y Supplement. The human body doesn't work that way. Trial and Error is the best way to figure out what works best. That is why I provided you plenty of detail to pick a goal and execute your decision.
 

drakdaystar

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Thanks for that.

I definitely train better in a slightly fed state. I’ve tried fasted training and I don’t have any energy but I also can’t have a full meal because that makes me bloated and low energy too. So a very small snack and a pre-workout would be ideal. I was moreso looking for some product recommendations because I don’t know where to start and I’ve only tried C4.

Thanks!
 
The Solution

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Thanks for that.

I definitely train better in a slightly fed state. I’ve tried fasted training and I don’t have any energy but I also can’t have a full meal because that makes me bloated and low energy too. So a very small snack and a pre-workout would be ideal. I was moreso looking for some product recommendations because I don’t know where to start and I’ve only tried C4.

Thanks!
Fix your diet first before buying supplements. You currently are still debating what you want to do. You are in a deficit and now want to add calories to move into a surplus, so you need to start there.
If you work well with a snack before training then continue to do so and try and find ways to add extra calories or carbs (Add honey, sip on intra-workout carbs/Gatorade) If that is the case having a pre-workout so close to food negates the stim effect. If you can workout well without one you don't need to invest in one.

You need to get your intake nailed down first, figure out what you need to do to correspond to your goal before buying pills and powders.
 

drakdaystar

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Yes I am set now on going into a caloric surplus. I just would like to know my pre-workout routine so that I can plan the calories in the rest of my day.

I have noticed that I do need a pre-workout supplement to improve my workout performance in the mornings (the caffeine gives me a boost in the mornings). Does this mean that you would recommend training fasted instead? And if so, which pre-workout would you recommend for that?

Sorry for all of the questions and thanks for your help so far
 
The Solution

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Yes I am set now on going into a caloric surplus. I just would like to know my pre-workout routine so that I can plan the calories in the rest of my day.

I have noticed that I do need a pre-workout supplement to improve my workout performance in the mornings (the caffeine gives me a boost in the mornings). Does this mean that you would recommend training fasted instead? And if so, which pre-workout would you recommend for that?

Sorry for all of the questions and thanks for your help so far
Well your routine is YOUR ROUTINE
that is not my routine or anyone elses
You need to find what WORKS BEST FOR YOU (nobody can tell you this), nor can anyone dictate that because we are not you
This is why I said trial/experience is what works best

No supplement works the same for you as it does for anyone else on here.
First you need to figure out what snacks and and calories work well for your pre-workout snack #1
Then you should add intra-workout carbs (Gatorade, Karbolyn, HBCD) which will help sustain workout performance/energy
Then consider a stim (Coffee, or pre-workout)

You can find my list here

You need to stop focusing on "Pills and Powders" because you can't supplement a bad diet
I am beating a deadhorse saying it over and over again. People are so quick to buy supplements but not fix the root issue which is your diet, training, sleep which are FAR more important then investing in a supplement. Not trying to be rude, but you can take 1g of caffeine, but if your diet and sleep and training are off it wont mean anything to help you progress to your goal


Pre:
Build Fast Formula FullBlitz (Coupon: Bob15)
CL White Flash
C4 Ultimate
C4 Ultimate Power
Nutrabio Pre
Bang Master Blaster
Gat Psychon
Isatori Morph
Dymatize Pre
Kraken or Kraken Black (Sparta)
Primevals Labs Mega Pre Black

Pump Pre:
MA Labs MA Pump
Primeval Labs Mega Pre
Build Fast Vasoblitz (Coupon: Bob15)
Ghost Pump
Kraken Pump


what may work best for you . I don't know. I don't coach you. I don't train you. So I am really just going to have to tell you "it depends" because none of us on here know much about you, what has worked and has not worked for you. These are all "Guidelines" that need to be tweaked in order for them to work for you
 
Wobmarvel

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Does the C4 do it for you? It gets a bad rep for being a tame preworkout but if it gives you the energy you need to train without experiencing a crash or any other bad sides then just stick with it.

If it's a case of, it gets you going but you just don't seem to be getting stronger then a different preworkout isn't going to change that, your workout program, rest and diet etc. will.

I've trained fasted before and like it. Some people prefer it. If you are getting a good workout and making progress i.e. beating the log book there is no real reason to have to eat before hand. If post workout your diet is solid your not going to leave too many gains on the table training fasted.

At the end of the day it's what fits your lifestyle. I know nothing about you but if there is a job, wife, kids, social club, alcoholics anonymous meeting that you need to work around then the best workout regimen is the one you will stick too. Diet is key, in my opinion that and rest is like 90% of the battle.
 

drakdaystar

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Thanks for recommendations I appreciate it. Just one final question - what are some examples for that pre-workout snack 1? I find that I need something around the size of a banana or an egg but should I be looking to carbs or protein? Any specific foods you would recommend?
 

drakdaystar

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I feel like C4 is no longer giving me the energy which is why I want to change it up. Any recommendations?
 
The Solution

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Thanks for recommendations I appreciate it. Just one final question - what are some examples for that pre-workout snack 1? I find that I need something around the size of a banana or an egg but should I be looking to carbs or protein? Any specific foods you would recommend?
I feel like C4 is no longer giving me the energy which is why I want to change it up. Any recommendations?
Well your routine is YOUR ROUTINE
that is not my routine or anyone elses
You need to find what WORKS BEST FOR YOU (nobody can tell you this), nor can anyone dictate that because we are not you
This is why I said trial/experience is what works best

No supplement works the same for you as it does for anyone else on here.
First you need to figure out what snacks and and calories work well for your pre-workout snack #1
Then you should add intra-workout carbs (Gatorade, Karbolyn, HBCD) which will help sustain workout performance/energy
Then consider a stim (Coffee, or pre-workout)

You can find my list here

You need to stop focusing on "Pills and Powders" because you can't supplement a bad diet
I am beating a deadhorse saying it over and over again. People are so quick to buy supplements but not fix the root issue which is your diet, training, sleep which are FAR more important then investing in a supplement. Not trying to be rude, but you can take 1g of caffeine, but if your diet and sleep and training are off it wont mean anything to help you progress to your goal


Pre:
Build Fast Formula FullBlitz (Coupon: Bob15)
CL White Flash
C4 Ultimate
C4 Ultimate Power
Nutrabio Pre
Bang Master Blaster
Gat Psychon
Isatori Morph
Dymatize Pre
Kraken or Kraken Black (Sparta)
Primevals Labs Mega Pre Black

Pump Pre:
MA Labs MA Pump
Primeval Labs Mega Pre
Build Fast Vasoblitz (Coupon: Bob15)
Ghost Pump
Kraken Pump


what may work best for you . I don't know. I don't coach you. I don't train you. So I am really just going to have to tell you "it depends" because none of us on here know much about you, what has worked and has not worked for you. These are all "Guidelines" that need to be tweaked in order for them to work for you
I gave you your answer here.
I know you don't want to read, or do any trial and error
but WE can't spoon feed you what works for you, what food sources will work best.
That is too much of a black and white question

If we all had the answer we would all eat the same foods, do the same routine, and drink the same drinks and get the same results
It doesn't work that way.
 
jameschoi

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I feel like C4 is no longer giving me the energy which is why I want to change it up. Any recommendations?
Cold shower,sprint before you workout to get the blood flowing,make sure there are plenty of hot babes in the gym to keep you motivated,lift heavy chet, repeat. If you don't have hot babes at your gym,find a new gym.
 

drakdaystar

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I’ve read mixed things on the internet in terms of eating protein or carbs before a workout. What’s your view on this?
 

drakdaystar

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Would you say that any of these pre-workouts are particularly suited for fasted training first thing in the morning? Or do they essentially all do the same thing?
 
The Solution

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Would you say that any of these pre-workouts are particularly suited for fasted training first thing in the morning? Or do they essentially all do the same thing?
Pre-workouts work for fasted or fed training.
Please use the resources above (links) to educate yourself on how to modify your diet and training to support your goal. I have listed you plenty of resources for meal frequency, training frequency, and also 4 links for mass gains. All of these are where you need to start.
Utilize the outlines and information you learn. Apply it for 4-8 weeks. See what you are doing, how you are response and adjust. Nobody here can give you all the correct answers. You could also hire a coach if you want someone to give you a closer eye and to adjust the things you do over time to suit your needs.

You are not focusing on the big picture (proper diet). The biggest issue at hand is not what pre-workout you need. it is setting your body up for an optimal workout, performance, and recovery.

I highly suggest doing your research by using the information above, sketching up a game plan you think will benefit you. Try it, and then make changes based off what you see, how you recover, and the gains you make once you increase your intake.

Some other great people to follow for good information:
Cliff Wilson
John Meadows
Eric Helms
Alberto Nunez
Doug Miller
Layne Norton
Jason Theobald
Shelby Starnes
 
Wobmarvel

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If C4 was working but doesn't any more then your receptors could be saturated and need a break. Throwing in a complete stim junkie preworkout could be detrimental.

If you want to try food before training then try something simple like a banana, carbs are probably more useful than protein at that point. See if your stomach is fine throughout and guage it from there. If you really want protein in your system then set an alarm for about an hour and thirty minutes before you workout and drink a scoop of whey in water. Then go back to bed or do what you normally do at that time then maybe 30 minutes before have your banana and possibly a coffee and skip the C4.

As the solution says you need to trial these things for a few weeks and see how it goes. Obviously if eating before has you throwing up in the gym then stop.

Have you hit plateaus in the gym? If not and your still progressing then maybe don't change anything. Preworkout don't contain magical stuff to increase muscle mass above and beyond that caused by growth stimulus whilst training. They can give you the energy to squeeze out a few more reps or maybe perform an extra set but your best to cycle off them now and again. Take a break from the C4 for a couple of weeks, try and at least maintain your current logbook performance and then start taking it again and you could notice a boost.

We've all been there man, try preworkout, effects are great, effects wear off, buy the next best preworkout, love looking at and opening a new tub, effects are great, effects wear off, buy an even more crazy one until we are taking 600mg caffeine, nootropics, 8000mg citrulline , tingling our faces off with 4gms beta alenine then wonder why we want to sleep 45 minutes into our workout. We get distracted from what's actually important.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a supplement guy. I feel investing in supplements helps me stick to my plan because I've invested money. I do have a plan though (wouldn't think it sometimes looking at my logs) and that's the key. They are not a crutch.

Good luck.
 
DEVANS89

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Pre-workouts work for fasted or fed training.
Please use the resources above (links) to educate yourself on how to modify your diet and training to support your goal. I have listed you plenty of resources for meal frequency, training frequency, and also 4 links for mass gains. All of these are where you need to start.
Utilize the outlines and information you learn. Apply it for 4-8 weeks. See what you are doing, how you are response and adjust. Nobody here can give you all the correct answers. You could also hire a coach if you want someone to give you a closer eye and to adjust the things you do over time to suit your needs.

You are not focusing on the big picture (proper diet). The biggest issue at hand is not what pre-workout you need. it is setting your body up for an optimal workout, performance, and recovery.

I highly suggest doing your research by using the information above, sketching up a game plan you think will benefit you. Try it, and then make changes based off what you see, how you recover, and the gains you make once you increase your intake.

Some other great people to follow for good information:
Cliff Wilson
John Meadows
Eric Helms
Alberto Nunez
Doug Miller
Layne Norton
Jason Theobald
Shelby Starnes
I’ll add Dante Trudel to this list
 

drakdaystar

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Pre-workouts work for fasted or fed training.
Please use the resources above (links) to educate yourself on how to modify your diet and training to support your goal. I have listed you plenty of resources for meal frequency, training frequency, and also 4 links for mass gains. All of these are where you need to start.
Utilize the outlines and information you learn. Apply it for 4-8 weeks. See what you are doing, how you are response and adjust. Nobody here can give you all the correct answers. You could also hire a coach if you want someone to give you a closer eye and to adjust the things you do over time to suit your needs.

You are not focusing on the big picture (proper diet). The biggest issue at hand is not what pre-workout you need. it is setting your body up for an optimal workout, performance, and recovery.

I highly suggest doing your research by using the information above, sketching up a game plan you think will benefit you. Try it, and then make changes based off what you see, how you recover, and the gains you make once you increase your intake.

Some other great people to follow for good information:
Cliff Wilson
John Meadows
Eric Helms
Alberto Nunez
Doug Miller
Layne Norton
Jason Theobald
Shelby Starnes
Hi The Solution,

Thanks for all of your help. Your advice has really helped me make a lot of progress in the past few months. I have decided that training fasted works the best for me and I just take stun pre-workout prior to my workout to give me a kick in the morning. I was wondering what you would recommend in terms of an intra-workout given that I train fasted? Should I be taking some BCAAs and/or carbs and/or anything else?

Thanks in advance!
 
The Solution

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Hi The Solution,

Thanks for all of your help. Your advice has really helped me make a lot of progress in the past few months. I have decided that training fasted works the best for me and I just take stun pre-workout prior to my workout to give me a kick in the morning. I was wondering what you would recommend in terms of an intra-workout given that I train fasted? Should I be taking some BCAAs and/or carbs and/or anything else?

Thanks in advance!
Here you go:
Post #4
 

drakdaystar

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The Solution

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Thanks! What about intraworkout carbs?
Depends on how you set up your diet, energy levels, sleep, workout setup, amount of cardio, goals etc.. Plenty can go without them and still make great progress, it really comes down to personal preference and caloric allocation.
 

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Depends on how you set up your diet, energy levels, sleep, workout setup, amount of cardio, goals etc.. Plenty can go without them and still make great progress, it really comes down to personal preference and caloric allocation.
Which brands/products would you recommend for an intraworkout carb?
 
The Solution

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Which brands/products would you recommend for an intraworkout carb?
EFX Karbolyn.. Probably the best bang for buck
If you have extra money look into HBCD (High Branch Cyclin Dextrins) such as SuperCarb (Nutrabio) or Glycofuse (Gaspari)
 
Raw Dog

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Hi The Solution,

Thanks for all of your help. Your advice has really helped me make a lot of progress in the past few months. I have decided that training fasted works the best for me and I just take stun pre-workout prior to my workout to give me a kick in the morning. I was wondering what you would recommend in terms of an intra-workout given that I train fasted? Should I be taking some BCAAs and/or carbs and/or anything else?

Thanks in advance!
I thoroughly enjoy the new Xtend pro formula, just wish it wasn’t an exclusive product.

ANS Amino HP is my second favorite based on formula, but it is discontinued and the flavoring is horrible

I also really enjoy endur3 by Olympus labs which is also discounted but can be found pretty cheap

I don’t do carbs during my fasted workouts at all though, just the aminos + bulk agmatine and glycerol
 
EMPIREMIND

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I thoroughly enjoy the new Xtend pro formula, just wish it wasn’t an exclusive product.

ANS Amino HP is my second favorite based on formula, but it is discontinued and the flavoring is horrible

I also really enjoy endur3 by Olympus labs which is also discounted but can be found pretty cheap

I don’t do carbs during my fasted workouts at all though, just the aminos + bulk agmatine and glycerol
What’s the reason for no carbs on fasted workouts? The aminos break your fast, why not fuel your anerobic activity at that point if your breaking your fast anyways?
 
Raw Dog

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What’s the reason for no carbs on fasted workouts? The aminos break your fast, why not fuel your anerobic activity at that point if your breaking your fast anyways?
Keto. Usually 20+hours fasted at the start of my workouts but my experiences adding carbs have not been positive
 

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