20 Feb Optimal Pre-Workout Fuel
So you want to take your training results to the next level?
Look no further than pre-workout fuel.
So what is Optimal Pre-Workout fuel? It’s the perfect protocol the provide you the energy, focus and drive to give 100% in the gym.
With the proper fuel you should be able to progress each week and make consistent progress, the key to getting amazing results.
But what is optimal for you may not be optimal for a body builder or someone who trains at night.
First lets talk theory. Here are the main ingredients and why:
- 4:1:1 BCAAs – BCAAs are Branched Chain Amino Acids. They provide optimal pre-workout fuel for your muscles. The 4:1:1 ratio of Leucine to Valine and Iso-Leucine turns on muscle building, which in turn protects your muscles from being broken down for energy. Remember that you lose up to 40% of your muscle in typical weight loss plans so this is vital for any goal.
- Coconut Oil – Coconut Oil provides readily available energy like sugar minus all the negatives. Coconut Oil also increases fat burning because its high in Medium Chain triglycerides, or MCTs. This, plus the BCAAs, give you all the energy you need to kill your workout.
Other possible add-ons:
- Organic Green Tea, Organic Coffee or caffeine – For clients that train in the morning, we recommend either Green Tea for detoxifying and caffeine benefits (only 50 mg). For people who want that extra kick, try Java Stim, a 200 mg caffeine pill including 2 amino acids that iron out the spike and crash of typical caffeine usage. This leads to sustained energy. Coffee is an excellent alternative too. Try putting the coconut oil in the coffee plus a kick of raw cacao for flavor. The only disclaimer is that caffeine at night can lead to sleep problems because it has a 6 hour half life, meaning its in your system for up to 24 hours. It’s my personal belief that many people have cortisol/adrenal issues and that caffeine just further perpetuates that so if your not sure if caffeine is right for you, ask a Biosignature Practitioner for more information. If you are pregnant, you should NEVER drink caffeine.
- Beta-Alanine – This increases the lactic acid buffering rate, which lets you do more reps before you feel a burn. Studies show up to a 12% increase in reps, so this would be the first supplement I’d add.
- Carnitine Tartrate – This maximizes fat burning pre-workout. This is a no brainer for someone looking to lose fat, but not as necessary for lean body maintenance or muscle building. However if you are known to be Hypo-Thyroid then I’d temporarily omit from using it for reasons outside the scope of this article.
- Brain supplements: Acetyl Carnitine, Tyrosine and other Poliquin supplements like Fast Brain. These supplements turn on Neurotransmitters like Acetyl Choline and Dopamine that give you drive and focus to kill your workouts. I think there has not been enough spoken for brain supplements pre-workout. It’s arguably the most important hours of your week and you need to be ON to not only prevent injury, but improve every aspect of your life.
- Sleep – Oh yeah, that’s not a supplement, but I thought it’s worth mentioning that if you don’t sleep 8 hours consistently then your hormones will be out of whack, you won’t recover properly, and there is no supplement in the world that can overcome chronic fatigue.
What’s NOT in there:
- Pre-Workout Carbs – Yes, you do NOT want to eat carbs pre-workout because it will make your body a carb burning machine. And regardless of where you are in the continuum, you want to tap into fat burning as much as possible. For those that are lean enough to earn smart carbs, eating them the night before will provide plenty of glycogen for your muscles. If you can’t see your abs, then you need to focus on getting your carbs from veggies until your trainer tells you otherwise 🙂 In addition, carbs elevate serotonin, which has a calming effect, which is not what you want pre-workout.
To eliminate confusion, I’ll provide some protocols for basic body types and goals:
Client Type: Average women that wants to be lean and strong
Intake: 10 g of 4:1:1 BCAAS, 1 serving of Coconut Oil, and maybe organic green tea
Client Type: Relatively lean women who wants to get as lean as possible
Intake: 10-20 g 4:1:1 BCAAs, 1 serving of Coconut Oil, Carnitine Tartrate, and possibly green tea/coffee/java stim, beta-alanine and other brain supplements
Client Type: Average man that wants to be lean and strong
Intake: 15g of 4:1:1 BCAAs, 1 servings of Coconut Oil and maybe organic green tea
Client Type: Relatively lean man that wants to get as lean and strong as possible (or add muscle)
Intake: 20-40g of 4:1:1 BCAAs, 1-2 servings of Coconut OilCarnitine Tartrate, and possibly green tea/coffee/java stim, beta-alanine and other brain supplements
There is always room for tweaking, but this provides a basic template for you to reach your goals.
Now you’ve got the knowledge, so get the goods and make me proud!