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Pre/Post Workout Nutrition For Fasting Athletes - Tucson Personal Training Blog

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Pre/Post Workout Nutrition For Fasting Athletes - Tucson Personal Training Blog

By: Jerry Trubman, Owner and Founder

Today’s post comes from the FAQ files. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I’m one of those ‘weirdos’ that eats one meal a day, and have often been asked if/how that interferes with my training. The answer is usually pretty vague like “it doesn’t”, but I thought I’d take a moment and share with you guys EXACTLY what I do for pre and post workout as far as nutrition goes. I want to be clear that this is not intended to be diet advice of any kind. This is just what I have personally found that works for me. Enjoy…

Before we get started, let’s give some context: This ‘intermittent fasting’ thing is pretty trendy right now. It’s probably worth mentioning that I’ve been eating 1-2 meals per day for close to ten years, so this is no fad diet that I’ve been experimenting with for 3 weeks and decided to write a blog post about it. Many of the terms used to describe this type of eating, like ‘intermittent fasting’ and ‘keto’ weren’t even around when I started doing this. I settled on this way of eating through years of being my own N=1 experiment, and I highly recommend that people do the same. There simply is no one ‘optimal diet’ for humans. I’d also like to be clear that I don’t do low-carb. People sometimes group keto, low-carb, and fasting into the same box, so I want to make the distinction that I don't follow these protocols. Carbs are my friend and I don’t function well without them.

Also, although I’m no candidate for the world’s strongest man, I’m also no slug. I train 6-7 days per week and hold several state powerlifting records. I squat double bodyweight, deadlift 2.5x bodyweight, military press bodyweight, and bench 1.5x bodyweight. These aren’t serious enough numbers to brag, but I am sharing this to give you the context that I’m not fasting then going to the gym to lift Ken and Barbie dumbbells…

With that out of the way, let’s get into it. My ‘big meal’ of the day is usually somewhere between 3 and 4 in the afternoon, and training time is 11am. If conditioning/cardio is the primary focus of that day’s training, there are no other meals other than the ‘big meal’ in the afternoon. If it’s a pure strength training day (2-3 times per week), there is a morning smoothie that is consumed around 6-7am (about two hours after waking up). Here is the recipe:

6oz of coconut milk (I use SO Delicious or Trader Joe’s brand)

¼ cup frozen organic blueberries

1 scoop of Country Farms Super Greens (Click here to buy on Amazon)

1 scoop Country Farms Super Reds (Click here to buy on Amazon)

1 scoop Blue Bonnet Protein vanilla flavor (Click here to buy on Amazon)


I blend it on low speed for about 30 seconds (I like the chunky consistency… makes it feel more like food and not drink), and pour it in a bowl and top it with small serving of Trader Joe’s High-Fiber Cereal. The finished product basically eats like a bowl of cereal. The intention of this little concoction is to be as nutrient dense and calorie low as possible. I’m looking for maximum return on minimum investment here.

If you use a cheap blender, you may need more coconut milk for it to come out right. By the way, if you’re still using a cheap blender, stop! Get a real blender! You can Click Here to check out the Blendtec that I use. We bought it about 8 years ago, it has over 2400 cycles on it, and still works just like the day we got it. It wasn’t cheap, but we’ve definitely gotten our money’s worth. I’ll never use a cheap blender again…

After the morning smoothie (and morning coffee!), it’s off to work. As we start getting closer to training time (about 30 minutes before training), this is my pre-workout concoction:

8oz water

1 scoop MRM Driven (Click here to buy on Amazon)

1 scoop MRM BCAA+G (Click here to buy on Amazon)

Immediately after training:

16 oz water

1 scoop BPI Creatine (Click here to buy on Amazon)

3 scoops MRM BCAA+G (same as what I use pre-workout)

Both pre and post workout drinks contain a negligible number of calories so I don’t consider it breaking a fast. However, the creatine and BCAA’s are supposed to help preserve muscle. It’s one thing to read about it in a research study, but it’s a whole other thing to feel it on your own body. In my first few years of eating once a day, I did nothing before and after workout (just water), but about 3 years ago my wife (who has forgotten more about nutrition than I will ever know) helped me arrive at what I’m doing now. The noticeable energy increase and results in strength gains have been very noticeable.

There are times where I’m feeling pretty good and will go without the pre-workout powder, and when I’m off caffeine I either use a caffeine free pre-workout (this one), or just go without it. I’ve had clients ask why I chose the brands that I use. Some wonder if others are better. I’m sure it's possible, but I’ll tell you how I choose these supplements: I don’t buy products that are sweetened with anything other than stevia.

There are two reasons: First, I avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague (aspartame gives me headaches and all the research studies on sucralose were paid for by the company that makes it). Second, stevia is expensive. If a company is fussy enough about the quality of their product to spring for the stevia, they are probably fussy about the other ingredients too. Is this very scientific? No. But the stuff I buy seems to do always do the job.

So how about you? I’m curious what my fellow brothers and sisters in strength are using. Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Until next time,

Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached "Team Protocol" to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife Marie and dog Sadie. To subscribe to his blog, click here.

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