Nutrition around training

For most bodybuilders, the nutrition plan around training looks like this:

• Pre-training: 1 energy drink or / and a protein bar

• Intra-training: water or BCAAs

• Post-training: a whey shake

So clearly, even if it’s better than those who have no plan, your progress, both in muscle mass gain and in fat loss, will be limited .

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Before training, you will not only have to mentally prepare to be focused during your session, but also prepare your muscles for the degradation they will undergo .

When it comes to energy, caffeine is ideal. Drinking a simple coffee may be enough! Coffee will also help with concentration, although carnitine can be useful for this purpose.

In terms of muscle preparation, you will need to consume protein and carbohydrates . At this point you have several choices. It will also depend on what time of day you work out.

• In the morning, for example, it will be a banana and a whey shake .

• At the start of the afternoon, it will be after a chicken + rice meal.

The key is to combine carbs + proteins while limiting fat so as not to slow down digestion.

Pre- and intra-training nutrition is at least as important as post-training nutrition. Obviously, if you do not have the opportunity to eat before training (which will lead to less progress than if you were eating), it will be essential to plan a post-training meal.


• To boost protein synthesis, it will be effective to consume a drink rich in carbohydrates during training to which will be added amino acids and / or casein hydrolyzate.

• If you can’t afford casein hydrolyzate (Peptopro), prefer an amino acid complex rather than BCAAs alone.

You should also consume simple carbohydrates such as dextrose or maltodextrin . It is important to consume carbohydrates during training to:

• have a high insulin level, in order to quickly assimilate the proteins supplied to the muscles. This is because it is the insulin that carries proteins and carbohydrates to the muscles.

• to keep energy throughout the session;

• to lower cortisol level for the benefit of testosterone. This will allow you to stay in an anabolic environment while allowing for the oxidation of fat, which is slowed down by cortisol. Training naturally increases cortisol levels, carbohydrates remedy this;

• so you do NOT use up your glycogen stores for energy. Replenishment of muscle glycogen stock is slow, so it is best to give muscle carbohydrates instead in order to skip this replenishment step, and thus speed up muscle recovery.

• If it is impossible to eat carbohydrates during training (budget, dry), it should be consumed before AND after training.


• To help rebuild glycogen in post training, we need to use the two parameters efficiency / rapidity of absorption: in this sense, whey isolate and whey hydrolyzate meet all the criteria and are superior to amino acids and BCAAs.

• If you have consumed a mixture of carbohydrates + amino acids / casein hydrolyzate during training, then it will not be essential to think “speed of absorption” as a priority.

• There are no studies on the superiority of a full meal over protein powder supplementation in post-training. However, the experience of many coaches shows that it is better to eat a meal rich in protein, carbohydrates and quality fats (for fats, think egg yolks high in cholesterol which helps in the regeneration of muscle tissue). The last piece of advice therefore on the superiority of whey (isolate or hydrolyzate) over amino acids / BCAAs should be put into perspective: if you do not have time to make a full meal within an hour of training, then only in this case it will be wise to take a protein shake in post-training. Otherwise, it will be a waste of money.