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episode #307

Boost Your Gains: To Feast or Fast Before a Workout?

November 27, 2023 in Podcast


This week I discuss a study comparing the effects of strength and hypertrophy of a fasted workout vs a fed workout.

Forty men were randomly allocated to 2 matched groups: 20 practicing whole-body resistance training in the late afternoon in a fasted state and 20 training in the late evening in a fed state (FED). Both groups performed 4 days per week of whole-body resistance training (∼75%-85% 1-repetition maximum, 12 repetitions/3-4 sets). Both groups consumed the same total macronutrient intakes as well.

Conclusion: The fed training group gained significantly more squat and deadlift strength. Bench press gains didn’t significantly differ between groups.

Fasted group reported their workouts required more effort. If you are looking for that extra edge in your workouts it might make sense to have a pre workout meal!

What should you eat?

  • 1 gram/kg of body weight from a lower glycemic carb source plus a serving of fruit
  • 0.5 g/kg of body weight for protein
  • 0-20g of fat (depending how close the workout is to meal)
  • Dietary fat slows digestion down
  • Meals eaten closer to workout should contain less fat
  • Meals eaten farther away from workout should contain more fat
  • 1-2 hours before workout
  • Lower calorie meal and fast digesting closer to workout
  • Higher calorie meal and slower digesting farther from workout

  • 175 lbs or 80kg male
  • 1.5 hours before
  • 80 grams of carbs
  • 40 grams of protein
  • 10-15 grams of fat
  • 600 calories approx
So give it a try and see how your workouts feel! If you have any questions feel free to email me at brian@briangryn.com.

Have a great day!

Brian (1s):

Hello and welcome to the GETLEAN and Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I'm a certified health coach, trainer and author, and this podcast is for middle aged men and women looking to optimize their health and get their bodies back to what it once was 10 to 15 years ago. I will give you simple actionable items to get long term sustainable results. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show. All, right Welcome to the Get Lean Eat Clean podcast. My name is Brian Gryn. I hope you had a great weekend and happy Tuesday if you're listening to this on Tuesday.

Brian (42s):

Hopefully you had a chance to listen to my interview with re Davis. He's a board certified health practitioner and also certified nutritional therapist. He was a founder of, he is the founder of Functional Diagnostic Nutrition, FDN and the FDN certification course, which I'm going through right now, actually should be finishing up this month. Really enjoyed this certification and we touched on FDN. We also got into, you know, how functional labs can impact your health. The importance of food sensitivity testing. We got into cortisol to DHEA ratios and important ratios you should look into. And then the dress protocol, D-R-E-S-S protocol that FDN really is their flagship protocol that they talk a lot about.

Brian (1m 28s):

So yeah, really enjoyed my interview with Reed. It was cool to have him on, especially since I'm finishing up that certification. So definitely worth a listen. And there's also a little bit of a free giveaway that he gave this Health Success guidebook. So check that out. I put a link in the show notes for that. And that's episode 3 0 6, my interview with Reed Davis. Now on today's micro podcast, I wanted to get into a study because I know you enjoy studies regarding if it's worth having a pre-workout meal, And, what are those gains and if that's beneficial as opposed to being in a fasted state. Now I will say, years back I used to always out for the most part in a Fasted state when I did my morning workouts.

Brian (2m 15s):

Now I've shifted my workouts to the afternoon and I have a small meal probably about two hours, two to three hours before that workout. So it is sort of a personal preference. But with this study as I'm gonna show you, and I'll share my screen so you can see the study that there might be a benefit to having a pre-workout meal before your actual strength Resistance training workout. Now I'm not talking about like going on the elliptical for 40 minutes, I'm talking about an actual like strength training Workout where you're trying to build hypertrophy. And if you're looking at the screen right now, if you're watching on YouTube, this is the study, the name of it, it's called the Timing of Resistance training during Ramadan fasting and its effects on muscle strength and hypertrophy.

Brian (3m 3s):

So really cool study men, Menno, Menno, Hensel mens who I've had on has talked about this study. And this was done in April of 2023. So we're gonna go through that and, and I'm gonna give you maybe a little bit of, little bit of an advice as far as what if you are gonna have a pre-workout, what should you be having? So we'll get into that as well. But really the, the study showed that it might be some benefit to have a meal before a workout. And it, what it did is it an randomly allocated two groups of 40 men. So 20 practicing a whole body resistance training in a late afternoon in a Fasted state.

Brian (3m 47s):

The other 20 in the late afternoon or late evening in a fed state. Okay, so one was Fasted, one was fed, they both did their workouts four days per week of whole body resistance training, about 75 to 85% of their one rep max, which equated to about 12 reps. And that's three to four sets. And that protocol right there is definitely geared towards strength hypertrophy, more of a hypertrophy training. Typically 10 to 12 reps is what you wanna shoot for. And they measured their one rep max throughout the 30 days of Ramadan for squats, deadlift, and Bench press. They were all measured. So the, the fasted group did their workouts between four and 6:00 PM and the other group had broke their fast and then did their workouts between eight and 10:00 PM Okay, so a little bit late for a workout.

Brian (4m 39s):

But that's the way they constructed this study. Both groups consumed the total mic macronutrient, the same amount of macronutrient intakes throughout the program and the study. And the Conclusion was really, the fed training group had significantly more squat and deadlift strength. The Bench press Gains did nots significantly differ between the groups. So squat deadlift did Bench press stayed about the same and there was a trend for higher LEAN body mass values in the FED group versus the UN versus the fasted group. So both groups SA performed the same training program with the same amount of sets, same intensity, and the same number of reps And.

Brian (5m 26s):

What they found also too, which I thought was interesting, that the Fasted group reported their workouts required more effort. So concluding the FASTA group was training, felt like they were training harder, but they were actually getting worse results. One caveat with the study is they were dry fasted, so meaning they might've been dehydrated the FASTA group, which could have caused some negative effects on the outcomes of this study. So I would say if you're really looking to build strength and hypertrophy, you might wanna not train in a fasted state. Now if you say the only time that you could train is in the morning in a Fasted state, I would say go for it if you want to have a little something before the Workout and see if it makes a difference.

Brian (6m 11s):

you know, for some people they love it. I mean, I will say I got plenty of Gains and, and felt like I was, you know, building plenty of muscle in a Fasted state for all the years that I used to do it. But, you know, it's good to mix it up and try and see what feels best. Now, I do my workouts in the middle of the day and I do have a small meal about two hours before the workout. So I would say this, I would say if you're probably saying, well maybe I'll try doing something pre-workout, I have the time. If I'm doing a midday workout, maybe let's say, well, I would say it depends on a few what What should you eat would be a question that is, is is very common. And I would say it would depend first on how close you're eating to the workout and also, and then you can sort of construct from there.

Brian (6m 56s):

If you're eating closer to the workout, you wanna make sure that first of all you have a meal that contains less Fat. And if you're eating farther away from the workout, then you can have a little bit more fat. And I'm gonna sort of break down the macronutrients and which, and the amount that you should maybe aims, aim for. It doesn't have to be perfect, but just to give you an idea, if you're curious to know, well, if I am gonna add a workout, what should I eat? The main reasons to, to add the, the, the meal would be one, to fuel the workout and two, to create this anabolic environment. Anabolic environment obviously is gonna put you in this the best place as far as trying to create size to add size, obviously nutrition as we're talking about is a big key to that.

Brian (7m 41s):

But obviously sleep, hormone levels, stress management, even pollute pollutants in the air, adequate recovery and training, these are all environments of an anabolic, you know, these are all ways to create an anabolic environment, right? Nutrition, sleep, hormone level, stress, So, we wanna optimize those as much as possible to get the most of our workouts. I know it's not a perfect world, but when it comes to nutrition, maybe we, maybe we do need to add a pre-workout to help sort of fuel, fuel you and create this anabolic environment. And, what I would say is aim for one gram per kilogram of body weight of a lower glycemic carb source and then a serving of fruit would be a good place to start.

Brian (8m 26s):

So this could be a sweet potato and then maybe, I don't know, some blueberries or something as as maybe just as your carb source. It's, it's, it's not a bad idea to have a combination of carb sources because this'll provide sustainable energy for the workout and because different carb source, excuse me, different carb sources absorb at different rates. So that would be the reason to be having like a pre piece of fruit and then maybe a starch. And then from there you can do a half a kilogram, half a gram per kilogram of body weight for protein. And that could be, I don't know, that protein could be a yogurt. I tend to do yogurt, pre-workout.

Brian (9m 9s):

It could be, I don't know, you know, meat fish or whatever else, or chicken. And then zero to 20 grams of fat depending on how close the Workout is to the meal, as I mentioned before. 'cause Dietary, Fat will slow your digestion down. So if it's farther away from your Workout, you can have more grams of fat If it's closer to your workout. I wouldn't have too much Fat before the Workout. So that's something just to keep in mind, it's not a perfect world. I would say one to two hours. Give yourself to digest. If you're having, if you're eating closer to the workout, you want lower calories. So if you're getting up in the morning and you feel like you wanna have something pre-workout, this could be literally, you don't have to construct a whole meal.

Brian (9m 51s):

you know, this could be a peanut butter and bananas, you know, a little, a little wrap. Or you could just have it on its own. A a banana. A banana with peanut butter. That'll be fairly fast digesting, probably not too much peanut butter 'cause there's a, a decent amount of Fat in there. So you don't want to have that too close to the workout. But that something like that would be a, a place to start. You could do obviously a bigger meal, maybe, you know, maybe five, 600 calorie meal farther away from the workout. That's typically about my what my meal is probably about 600 calories. And that's, and I give myself about two to two and a half hours before the Workout. And then you can ha so depending on, on, you know, how close you're eating that work meal that, that meal to the workout will be dependent on, you know, then on how big it'll, it'll be as well.

Brian (10m 42s):

So hope that's not too confusing. So let's just do an example real quick here just to give you an idea. Let's just say 175 pound male or female, which is about 80 kilograms. Okay? So 80 kilograms and that would equate to about 80 grams of carbs, 40 grams of protein 'cause about 0.5 grams per, per per kilogram. So 80 grams of carbs, 40 grams of protein. And then let's just say about 10 to 15 grams of fat. And this will probably come out depending on what you're having, but about 600 calories right there, but as a pre-workout meal. So that would be a place to start regarding pre-workouts.

Brian (11m 24s):

And if you have questions regarding that, let me know. Again, I would give yourself at least one to two hours and you can construct a meal exactly the way I mentioned, or if it's a little bit different, that is fine as well. You can sort of test and self experiment and find what works for you. So let me know, feel free to comment down below or email me Brian at Brian Gryn dot com and let me know what your pre-workout meal is. Or maybe it's nothing. You can still get gains either way, I think. I think if you're looking to maybe get that little extra 10%, having a pre-workout meal might really help. And that, that's why I wanted to bring up the study just to show you that. So thanks again so much for listening.

Brian (12m 5s):

If, you love the podcast. Feel free to leave a review. Would love it. And looking forward to talking to you on Friday with another great interview. Have a Gryn re great rest of the week. Thanks so much for listening. Thanks for listening to the GETLEAN e Clean podcast. I understand there are millions of other Podcasts out there and you've chosen to listen to mine and I appreciate that. Check out the show notes at Brian Gryn dot com for everything that was mentioned in this episode. Feel free to subscribe to the podcast and share it with a friend or family member that's looking to get their body back to what it once was. Thanks again and have a great day.

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