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Pre and Post Workout Meal Myth

By Dr. Eric Berg DC
Views: 16094

Our Educational Content is Not Meant or Intended for Medical Advice or Treatment

Pre and Post Workout Meal Myth

People have told you that you need to eat before your workout or after to replace your glycogen reserve or muscle mass.

You have a certain amount of sugar in your muscles and liver.

It’s not a lot so if you would to workout it would be tapped out within half an hour than you will start burning fat.

So, why would you eat anything sweet before or after a workout? That doesn’t make sense.

Your body burns sugar first than the fat.

If you were going to eat high concentrated protein such as whey protein, the more concentrated it is the more it will trigger insulin.

An egg has much less response to insulin than whey protein. Insulin stops fat burning.

Every time you eat, you stimulate insulin.

The goal is to use exercise to stimulate your metabolism.  then tap into the fat reserves that you have and make your own fat the meal you’re eating instead of the dietary meal.

Do you need to eat protein to build muscle mass?

What you ate right before the workout will take at least 24 hours or longer to digest go through you liver than go to your muscles.

If you think your protein shake is going to go to your muscles, it is not, it is being digested.

You really don’t need protein around workout to build muscles. It is the food you ate the day before that is going into your muscles.

If your liver is overloaded with too much protein it won’t end up in your muscles.

Avoid insulin because it nullifies growth hormone.

When you exercise you induce a stress event that breaks down your muscles, it burns the sugar in the muscles and it eventually stop then your body will recover.

During the recovery process is where your body is:

  • digesting

  • building back up

  • burning fat

If you eat during this process, you’re going to slow down your benefits of weight loss and muscle building.

The benefits of exercise don’t occur until 24 to 48 hours after your workout during the deep sleep.

A better strategy is to get better sleep and not eating anything before or during a workout.

The exception is if you are:

  • An athlete

  • A body builder

  • You workout twice a day

  • You are doing long distance running or marathons

  • You are a diabetic and you’re having massive sugar fluctuations.



You want to stimulate growth hormone which is the main fat burning hormone that is activated by exercise.

When you eat any food, especially high concentrated protein or sugar, you will spike insulin.

Insulin will block growth hormone which is a dominant hormone where you won’t burn fat. 

Growth hormone is triggered by:

  • Exercise

  • Sleep

  • Hypoglycemia (Lower blood sugar)


Understand the workout meal myth and see more Fitness advice from Dr. Berg Video Blog.

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