ask our dietitian your question todaydo you need a pre work out drink

question-answer-color-v-2Do I need a pre workout drink? Considering that I lift heavy and workout on high intensity. Right now I am taking a branched chain amino acid drink, but the cost is an issue for me! – Roshana



Intense heavy lifting uses glucose for energy to fuel muscle work. I think a pure BCAA (branched chain amino acid) drink is unnecessary, not to mention usually bitter. Instead, a pre-workout powder that contains simple carbohydrates, full protein or longer peptides and creatine might be helpful depending on your current physical status and goals. The protein and long peptide chains will serve as building blocks for muscle, while creatine helps you form more ATP for muscle contractions. Simple carbohydrates serve to fuel the work.

What your previous meal consists of and its timing, pre workout that is, will dictate whether you also need complex carbohydrates or fat. If you eat a balanced, nutrient-rich, meal 3 or so hours prior to your workout you can skip the fat, usually in the form of MCT (medium chain triglycerides) as this might add to the cost.

Eat Like This to Help Maximize your Recovery and Results

Don’t overlook your recovery snack! Eating some easily digestible protein plus carbohydrates within 30 minutes after your workout will promote muscle repair and growth. Half a chicken or turkey breast sandwich is ideal and costs less than specialty recovery nutrition products.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?

Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below. To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.



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