Do you work out early in the morning?
I know this applies to a lot of the morning AG Team Training crew, so pay attention!
Many people who train in the morning skip out on breakfast because they think they're doing themselves a bit of good (you aren't), or leave it until after their session because they don't have time. Thought fasted exercise may be “acceptable” if working at low intensities, at max intensities eg. HIIT/lifting, training fasted has shown to reduce performance. Therefore, if max performance is your goal, eating pre-workout is advised.
However, for those who can only train early in the am, a large meal may not be feasible so for you, your goal should be to promote as much anabolism with the least amount of gastric discomfort as possible.
Here are some tips. Protein: As expected, some sort of rapidly digesting protein either from a shake or food which contains approximately 3g of leucine is KEY for sparking muscle protein synthesis (MPS).
Carbs: As fat & fibre slow down gastric emptying these should remain low meaning that this is one of the few times that “simple” carbs are “acceptable” as insulin has the ability to stimulate MPS, shifting you into an anabolic state pre-workout. Also, carbs will increase blood glucose and can enhance performance in the gym! Breads, cereals, and fruit are all quick and easy to prepare and eat! Hydration: Dehydration can decrease performance by up to 30% along with altering thermoregulatory capability, increasing fatigue, so ensure that you drink plenty of water once you wake up and throughout your session. Electrolytes may also be beneficial - some people like some kind of juice to sip during rest periods! Caffeine/pre-workouts: Caffeine has shown to increase alertness, decrease onset of fatigue & most importantly, increase performance so a pre-workout coffee may come in handy! Fancy pre-workout supplements are often expensive and unnecessary, so save your money. BCAAs: Though unnecessary when consuming sufficient daily protein, sipping on BCAAs can again stimulate MPS with as little gastric discomfort as possible. These should not be necessary for most people.
Ideally, to perform at your best, you should follow these tips... but if you absolutely cannot eat before training, then this one is for you. Eat well post workout: When training fasted rates of muscle protein breakdown begin to drastically increase 1-2hrs postworkout, therefore if you can’t do any of the above, be sure to eat a large meal with plenty of protein/carbs within a couple of hours of finishing your session!