Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Joshua Naterman

Perfect Workout Nutrition 2013

Recommended Posts

Joshua Naterman

Perfect Workout Nutrition 2013

Please note that GymnasticBodies does not provide any endorsement (official or unofficial) to the contents; and that this is the presentation of my collected knowledge for the purpose of education. It does not represent medical advice and is not a prescription for nutrition.

This is specifically for the time period from 30 minutes pre-workout to 4-24 hours post-workout, and is intended for healthy individuals. If you have diabetes, or any other medical condition, please consult with a Registered Dietician. Preferably one that is used to working with athletes.

If you have questions, please ask them here: https://www.gymnasticbodies.com/forum/topic/9581-perfect-workout-nutrition-2013-questions-and-answers/

What you must know before you begin:

This plan includes drinking a good bit of water.

1 Liter or Quart of Water + 400-600mg sodium (not potassium salt) mixed in.

Too much water without sufficient salt is dangerous.


600mg of sodium is a level 1/4 tsp or ~1.25 mL.


If you are not used to drinking a lot of water during your workouts, please refer to the second post for instructions on making the transition.


Note: As great as this strategy is, it cannot make up for an entire day of crappy eating. What you eat outside of the workout timezone is, in many ways, even more important than what you do peri-workout. While this plan will always give you the best results for your given situation, your absolute best results will only occur when your every-day nutrition is also solid. That is your foundation. This is the fancy house that sits on the foundation, and if you put this on top of the dietary equivalent of quicksand then you should not expect to see the results you want.

                                                          The precise plan:


                                                    ~20-30 minutes pre-workout:

30g of whey protein + 10-16 oz (300-500ml) of water or milk.
10-20g Carbs (ideally vegetables or fruit from list, not juice/baked goods/fruit)
Oil or butter to cook vegetables in (important fat)

Acceptable Fruit List: Whole citrus fruits, small apples (not sweet), pitted fruits (peaches, nectarines, cherries, etc), most berries.


Note 1: If you find other carb sources that work well for you, then obviously those are fine too. I simply find that these are the carb sources that give me the most consistently excellent results.


Note 2: Some people simply can't make this work, due to scheduling issues. If you can't, you're going to need to experiment with whole food meals to find what works best for you. Daniel Burnham finds that eating a meal with fattier whole food protein (a hamburger or some sausage) and the amount of carbs (with plenty of veggies) he needs for time between the meal and the workout, about 1.5-2 hours before his workout, is his preferred strategy for the pre-workout meal, and he does not follow this particular 20-30 minute pre-workout bit.


This does not work well for me, and I perform better with exactly what I have typed in this section. The rest of this post is pretty much identical for everyone, but this initial pre-workout feeding may not be best for all schedules. I personally plan my food so that I can always do this, because it works best for me.


Do not dehydrate yourself but do not drink too much water.

                                                   5-10 minutes pre-workout mix:

Carbs: This is assuming 2-3 minute rest periods and overall sets taking 30-60 seconds.

1) 30% of this right before the workout, drink rest during workout
2) For every 60g of carbs, drink 0.75 to 1 liter (or quart) of water





Please refer to the Carb Table for the correct amount of carbohydrate consumption. Please note that these values are specifically for strength training.


Read the Carb Table Here.


Good Carbs for this:
Well baked white potatoes
Mashed potatoes
Glucose powder
Anything that has a GI of 70-80 or higher.

10-20g of protein in the workout drink. There is to be no added fat in this drink.

Keep in mind that this table is for strength training! That’s fairly intense work with 2-3 minute rests. If your rests are longer than that, you may want to reduce the carbohydrates a bit.

For every additional minute of rest between sets, reduce the carbs by 5% for every minute of rest beyond 2 minutes.

If you’re doing skill work, only consume half of the carbs

Note 1: Make sure you get the protein into this pre-workout drink, as well as 400-600mg of sodium per Liter. (from table or sea salt, not a half potassium salt!)

Note 2: It is totally OK to experiment with this. Your diet, and needs, will all vary somewhat from the norm, but the above table is a good starting point!

It is also vital that you consume these carbs as a 6%-8% solution:

Drink 750 mL(8%) to 1 Liter (6%) of water for every 60g carbs.


                                                      During the workout:

80-100% of the remainder of the carbs that you did not have immediately pre-workout.

Guidelines/Reminder for what needs to be in this drink:
400-600mg of sodium per Liter of water, or per quart.
~10g protein per Liter (or quart) of water
Carbs mixed in or solid carbs such as mashed potatoes or white bread
Water, salt, and protein must bemixed together.



                                                      After the workout:

PWO shake! Have this as close to instantly as possible.

PWO shake components:





  • 60-80g of carbs, regardless of bodyweight up to 200 lbs.

Use either glucose powder, fast-acting maltodextrin, or mashed potatoes, especially after intense workouts.

2) 30g of whey or soy protein. Whey IS better protein than soy, and it’s the same price or cheaper.

3) Fats: No fats in the PWO shake or at all until more than 30 minutes post-workout. Coconut oil for this if you must have the fat.

After this PWO shake, get back to regular eating!

Eat every 30 to 60 minutes for at least 2 hours after this

Drink a lot of water with your meal carbs and protein. You are always aiming to make a ~6%-12% solution, so that your body stays well hydrated and the stomach empties fairly rapidly. Fats don’t mix with water, so we don’t calculate them into this.

20-30g protein every 2-3 hours is perfect.
The more vegetables, the better.

You will pee a lot, most likely, and that is good. If you are not fully hydrated, you will not see anywhere near as much protein synthesis, and that means your results won’t be as good as they should be if you aren’t fully hydrated and peeing nearly clear.

Please pay attention to the sodium guidelines, unless you have hyperaldosteronism. Electrolyte balance is a part of proper hydration, and failure to pay attention to this can cause serious problems or death.

  • Upvote 28

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Joshua Naterman

Post #2, Copyright Joshua Naterman, Dec. 29, 2012


Note: If you are over the age of 40-45, make sure you read the bottom of this particular post.


Please note that GymnasticBodies does not provide any endorsement (official or unofficial) to the contents; and that this is the presentation of my collected knowledge for the purpose of education. It does not represent medical advice and is not a prescription for nutrition.











Implementation details:


For people who are new to consuming liquids during workouts:


If you are not used to consuming quite a bit of liquid with your workout, you will need to ease into this. It tends to take 2-3 weeks for athletes to adapt to increased fluid intake during and after exercise, so you will probably want to start off with a lot less liquid, like maybe 16 oz or 500mL of water instead of 1L, both during and after. Over the next two weeks, slowly have more water. You will find that your body actually starts to look for this water, and you will perform better with it.


Do not try to rush this process!


A lot of marathon runners train without consuming  much water, and then during the race they try to drink like everyone else and end up barfing everywhere and losing horribly. This is because they did not realize that it takes 2-3 weeks for their bodies to adapt to all that liquid during exercise!

Do not make the same mistake!!!


Keys to success for the shakes:

  1. It is important to have sodium in the water. The rule is 400-600mg per Liter (or quart) of water. If you are unsure about this, start at the low end. Your stomach has sodium receptors, and when they sense sodium they tend to empty the stomach more quickly. This also aids intestinal absorption of water, protein, and carbohydrate. There appears to be a bit of synergy at work.
  2. It is also important to have a small amount of protein in the glucose solution. I find that even 10g of protein makes a significant difference, and that is what I usually use.
  3. Do both 1 AND 2 for best results.


You do not need to put your potatoes, should you use potatoes, directly in the shake. Simply eating them and consuming the water + protein alongside is going to work just as well. If you LIKE putting them into the shake, go for it!


I just want to be crystal clear about this point: You do not have to make a potato milkshake.


You also do not have to have a full Liter of water, but it is a very good idea to have at least 600-750 mL. If you are a smaller individual, you may find that having less water helps you stay more comfortable. This requires careful, methodical experimentation on your part.


The liter of water per 60g of solute (protein + carbs) does allow for ideal absorption, but your own personal comfort is also important, and should come first. There's no point in doing things that make you too uncomfortable to get a good workout.



Additional Supplementation:


There aren't very many things that actually make a difference once your nutrition is really dialed in, but there ARE a few things that work.



Creatine: Follow established protocols for this. You do not have to load!

  •  The loading protocol, which is four servings of 5g creatine monohydrate per day for 5-7 days, (depending on the research you read), tops off muscle creatine stores by the 7th day. If all you do is take 3g once per day, it will take about 28 days to reach the same top-off point.


  • Loading gets you there faster, but is not required by any means. Creatine is best used as a longer term supplement, for a minimum of 3 month blocks. There is no data suggesting that we need to cycle off of creatine, but doing so can be cost effective. Sometimes it's nice to take a break.


  • You do NOT need a 5g daily dose. 2-3g appears to be more than adequate according to all the current research. Not only will this give you the same results, it will protect your kidneys (and your wallet).

Creatine + Beta-Alanine:

  • Follow supplement labels.


  • This combination does appear to be useful for increasing anaerobic repeat performance as well as lean mass gain, even when compared to creatine alone.  


  • This is a CNS stimulant.


  • You don't need, or want, high doses, and this is THE active ingredient in your pre-workout drink. Don't believe the hype regarding other things (excluding ephedra, which is not legal to sell and so will not be discussed here): If Caffeine wasn't responsible for virtually the entire effect, you wouldn't see it as the primary stimulant.
  • You can do pretty much just as well as any pre-workout by mixing enough freeze-dried (or fresh-brewed) coffee to give you 80-160mg of caffeine before the workout. That's 1-2 cups (250-500 mL). Just put it in as part of the water component of your 20-30 minute pre-workout drink and you'll be good to go.
  • Even people of the exact same size and body composition can have radically different reactions to caffeine. You will need to figure out what the right amount for you is.  Example: I only use one teaspoon of freeze-dried coffee. More than that is too much for me. I have friends who are smaller, yet feel the best with nearly double the dose.

EAA (Essential Amino Acid) Supplements:

  • These are useful when you know you have lower quality protein.
  • You can use these to increase the quality of the protein to a much more ideal level. 3-4g added to 30g of virtually any protein source will transform the protein into a highly effective protein source. This is not necessary for animal proteins, though pork may benefit from 2-3g.


Conditional Supplementation:


This section covers things that are either only relevant to certain trainee populations and/or have conflicting data regarding effectiveness.


Leucine: It appears that we need 3-4g of leucine per 10g of EAA (Leucine IS one of them) to maximize muscle protein synthesis.


  • The tricky thing about Leucine is that our body loves this stuff! It loves it so much that excess Leucine has been shown to interfere with other EAA absorption, so don't do this with your regular meals or combine with EAA supplements.
  • Young athletes won't get as much from Leucine supplementation, but older athletes in their 30's, 40's and beyond may benefit from some pre-workout Leucine. There is a good bit of research that supports this idea, and the clinical dose was 8g.
  • It is very hard to say much, conclusively, about leucine supplementation. This will remain an active area of research for quite some time.


Larger doses of protein for older trainees:


  • As we get older, we appear to become less sensitive to dietary protein. A large dose of 30g of high quality protein, whether whey or lean animal meat, has identical effects in senior citizens and 20 year old athletes.
  • A 15g dose of the same protein has half the effect in young athletes but zero effect in older athletes (over 60 years old, I believe).


So, for you older folks out there: MAKE SURE you are getting your protein in 30-35g doses. If you don't, you may be wasting your protein and missing out on valuable gains.

  • Upvote 12

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.


Important Information

Please review our Privacy Policy at Privacy Policy before using the forums.