Liquid nutrition may not be the only way to go, but pre and postworkout it can yield big results

April 8, 2010


Often, weight-gain shakes are excellent options for adding carbs to your workout nutrition. You can order dextrose and maltodextrin in bulk from any of several supplement companies. Add these sugars to a whey-protein product (in a 2:1 ratio of sugars to protein) that doesn't already contain carbs. Many supplement companies offer products that are mostly simple carbs but also contain recovery and growth ingredients, such as creatine and glutamine. They can be mixed into protein shakes, too. (Also, see our answer to the Net Gains question about current pre- and postworkout recommendations.)

If you want to go the food route though, go for fast-digesting carb sources. Eat a bagel or two (depending on the size) or several slices of white bread (add jelly if you want to), or drink Gatorade or Coke with your protein shake. You can also mix dry rice cereal (the kind made for babies) into your protein shake. Besides being a source of fast-digesting carbs, that type of cereal will add thickness and texture to your protein shake.

Postworkout, try to avoid fiber and fats, as they will slow down the digestion of the simple carbs and protein.

About an hour after your postworkout meal, eat a whole-food meal with protein, complex carbs, healthy fats and fiber. A good example is a steak plus a medium-sized yam, salad with olive oil and vinegar, and a vegetable, such as broccoli or asparagus.

Below are sample pre- and postworkout shakes that you can make before leaving for the gym

20 ounces of water
30-40 grams (g) of whey protein
60-80 g of simple carbs (2:1 ratio of carbs to protein)
5 g of glutamine
2-3 g of creatine
NOTE: Drink half of the mixture before your workout and continue to sip it as you train.

20 ounces of water
30-50 g of whey protein
60-100 g of simple carbs (2:1 ratio of carbs to protein)
5 g of glutamine
2-3 g of creatine

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