How to Create a Perfect Pre-Workout Meal?

Author: Praveen Budhrani, INFS alumini and Fittr coach

If you are looking to maximize muscle growth and performance, then you should seriously consider a pre-workout meal.  In fact research suggests having a good pre-workout meal before a resistance training session can provide greater anabolic response than having it after the session.

what is a pre-workout meal?

Before we talk about the perfect pre-workout meal, let us understand what is considered a pre-workout meal. A pre-workout meal is anything that you have roughly 2 hours before your workout with an objective to achieve 2goals.

  1. For energy to boost performance in the gym and
  2. For sufficient supply of amino acids (aka proteins) to maximize muscle growth.

what does pre-workout meal do?

Studies suggest that incorporating protein as part of a pre-workout meal elevates protein synthesis significantly more than a placebo group. Also one study showed 20 grams of whey protein with 6gms leucine resulted in greater strength gains than placebo, although there was no significant change in muscle growth.

As for the type of protein, a fast digestion protein containing good amount of leucine is advisable as it rapidly spikes amino acids required for the breakdown that happens during the workouts.

how to incorporate pre-workout meal

Some examples of food that meet the criteria are whey protein and egg whites.

As for other macronutrients, carb when added alongside protein do provide a favorable anabolic hormone environment in addition to fueling the workouts. And as for the type of carbs, limited research suggests that moderate to high GI foods (white potatoes, bananas, etc.) are best suited for strength training. Further, avoid fiber rich foods to avoid bloating. Additionally, fats have practically no beneficial effects on exercise performance neither will they boost protein synthesis.


As a practical takeaway, incorporate around 20-30 grams of fast digesting protein and around 30-50 grams (depends on overall calorie target) of carbs as a part of your pre-workout meal. Avoid fats and fibers.

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