79. Do you need a pre and post workout? How often should you eat?

faq Oct 22, 2020
By: Michael Beiter


Yesterday I met with a guy who asked two important questions:
 
1.) Do I need a pre, and post workout supplement?
 
2.) Are you one of those eat every 2-3 hour types?
 
To answer the first: no, you do not need a pre or post workout supplement. The whole peri workout window, which refers to having something before, during, and after a workout was created by the supplement industry to sell you products. They use pseudo science as their evidence for suggesting you need a special formula to get ready to workout and another right afterwards to get the most of what you did.
 
There are even camps that suggest once you finish drinking something before you need to start drinking something during and once you finish that it's time to start drinking your thing for after. It would only be funny if so many people didn't fall for this madness.
 
Know this: the best pre workout is caffeine. Instead of buying a product with a bunch of micro-dosed vitamins and minerals just have your favorite coffee drink if you need energy to workout.
 
Drinking something during your workout is unnecessary for anyone that isn't pushing multiple hours of exercise time. And in that scenario water is plenty.
 
Consuming something post workout will not enhance any recovery. Protein shakes are common here and as long as you get your daily protein in you don't need to worry whether you do it within a certain window of time after you get done exercising. Your results will be the same if you wait til you get home from the gym for a whole food meal or fast for several hours before eating again. It's the amounts that matter, not when.
 
Which brings us to our second answer:
 
You can eat however frequently you'd like.
 
Your results will be the same if you eat 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, or 8 times a day.
 
One day you can eat smaller, non prep snacks throughout the day and the next skip eating until a single feast in the evening.
 
Save for some stomach discomfort, fat loss results would be the same as long as calories are equated.
 
Fat loss is not dictated by when or how many times you eat but rather by creating a caloric deficit.
 
You can change your meal timing and frequency day to day if you’d like.
 
• Skip eating at work all together.
• Eat most of your days food before bed.
• Graze and snack several times throughout the day.
 
All of these things are possible when losing fat as well as any meal timing/frequency combo you can think of!
 
As long as you’re in a caloric deficit.
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