Alan Aragon article I copied

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by Vedic, May 25, 2008.

  1. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    For those that don't know I find Alan to be one of the smartest in the field of sports nutrition. Top five to me. So when he speaks I listen. Here are some of his thoughts on pre and PWO. Hope everyone is having a good holiday weekend.


    (I decided to keep the following original guidelines up because they're still valid, & not much different at all)


    INTRO

    GOAL CLARIFICATION & THE NATURE OF OPTIMA

    pre, during, & postworkout nutrition is different for different sports. most of the data on this subject pertains to endurance athletes, and doesn't necessarily apply to bodybuilders. this is the classic conflict of arguments when different goals aren't clarified. what i'm gonna discuss is nutrition for bodybuilding resistance training, so let's get that straight before we dive in. another important concept to bear in mind is the fact that nutrient timing is of secondary importance to total amounts of each nutrient. i also want to make it clear that we're nitpicking over what's OPTIMAL. for example, total amount of carbohydrate is in fact more important than its glycemic index. it's important to note that there are quite a bit of confounding (validity-challenging) variables related to GI, which i covered in depth here. keep in mind that it's the general theory and format that you should focus on, because there's no way that i can provide a comprehensive list of example meals without boring myself to death, and everyone has their personal taste.

    INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES

    variations in total amounts will be determined by your general body mass & individual phyz, you'll just have to trial & error it out as with all plans. littler guys will do fine at the lower ranges, mega-mooses will do well at the higher ranges, and average joes will find the middle of the ranges to be good starting points from which to monitor progress. i'd like to make it perfectly clear that this article is an attempt to cater to the majority of trainees who may read it. as with all advice from ornery oracles, you MUST adapt it to your individual response & measure it against your progress, or lack thereof, and adjust accordingly. i highly recommend that you feel free to go "outside of the lines" of what i've written if/when necessary, and find out what works for you as an individual. the concept of trial & error being the ultimate judge - despite sound theoretical starting points - is not emphasized nearly enough in tutorials.

    without further ado...


    PRE-PREWORKOUT: THE GLYCOGEN FACTOR

    glycogen is the limiting fuel for exercise in the glycolytic range of the energy substrate continuum. this means that even though bodybuilders aren't gonna be running marathon or growing impotent from sitting their asses on a hard bike seat doing the tour de france, glycogen is still important for muscular work in the rep ranges that primarily cause hypertrophy. many bodybuilders i know are on a "permanent precontest" phase, and keep their carbs low no matter what, and are really frustrated with their gains. actual amount of total carbs daily is another discussion, but suffice it to say that it's really tough to gain muscle - no matter how much protein you're chuggin' - when you're constantly averaging below 2/3 of your bodyweight a day in carb grams. this may be warranted on a cyclical basis for some folks during a precontest cut, but for general purposes & gaining muscle, you're better off averaging somewhere above this amount -- unless you've either been pathologically afraid of, or ****bolically challenged by carbohydrate for a long enough duration for your body to adapt & get by on amounts chronically lower than this.


    PREWORKOUT

    OBJECTIVE

    the objective here is to promote sustained carbohydrate & amino acid availability, minimize muscle catabolism, and spare glygogen as much as possible. it's important to note here that research is quite conflicting on the issue of GI & exercise performance. much of the latest studies show no real difference. the actual amount & physical nature of the meal depends on how soon your schedule allows you to eat or drink before training. there are at least 2 acceptable scenarios..

    COMPOSITION

    scenario one: a solid, full-sized balanced meal finished 60-90 minutes preworkout consisting of 30-60g protein (0.2-0.25g/lb target BW) + 40-80g carb (0.33g/lb target BW). there are endless examples of how this can be constructed, & heres just one:
    ---- 5-8oz of any type of land or sea animal flesh
    ---- 1-2 cups of whole grain product or starchy vegetable or legume /or/ fistsize sweet potato, etc. Have your preference, focus on total amount rather than food subtype.
    ---- 1 or more cups fibrous vegetable like salad greens, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, kale, cabbage, onions, even carrots, etc, etc

    [or]

    scenario two: a liquid meal or shake finished 30-0 min preworkout:
    ---- 20-50g protein (0.15-0.2g/lb target BW). Whey is preferred for its BCAA content & gastric tolerability for most.
    ---- 40-80g (0.33g/lb target BW). Any fruit works well here, so does old fashioned oats. a solid case can be built for a combination of both. whether you include water/milk is a matter of digestive tolerance. milk just gets the anabolic/anticatabolic cascades rolling for those in a severe hurry to gain muscle. adding fat to this shake can slow the release of nutrients & benefit those who train for significantly more than 90 min, offering extra protection against energy dips - especially if you don't consume a dilute carb solution during your workout. note that most people will do fine without the fat.

    to reiterate the factor of individual differences, don't be afraid to go outside of the listed guidelines & exceed the upper limit of listed carb intake as needed to power you through your training. conversely, don't be afraid to dip below it given your gastrointestinal tolerance for exogenous substrate during or pretraining.


    DURING WORKOUT

    OBJECTIVE

    the same objectives as the preworkout meal apply here (to promote sustained carbohydrate availability & to a lesser degree amino acid availability, minimize muscle catabolism, and spare glygogen) - with the added objective of maximizing water availability & minimizing gastrointestinal upset.

    COMPOSITION

    again, be aware that we are talking bodybuilding workouts and not triathalon training. i am an advocate of keeping it simple and watering yourself down thoughout the workout with.. you guessed it, pure water. if you did your homework with the right construction & timing of the preworkout meal (& of course if you're sipping your preworkout shake during training which is fine too), there's little need for the bodybuilder to take in much else. now granted, if you were a boxer, triathlete, soccer player, basketball player, or marathoner at risk for catabolizing a lean mass and jeopardizing your liver glycogen status by trudging away for far past 90 minutes continuously in an endurance event, definitely sip the gatorade-type 4-8% carb solution throughout the workout, and shoot for 40-60g carbs/hr. there's a huge body of research that shows the benefit of that tactic.
     
  2. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    POSTWORKOUT

    OBJECTIVE

    the objective here is to sustain elevated insulin concentrations & get a head start on recovery by antagonizing cortisol & other catabolic elements, replenish water & glygogen, and restore levels of circulating amino acids. this is mistakenly viewed as the most important meal of the day, which is BS. why? because if you're not properly fueled prior to this point, you might compromise your training performance, and you won't achieve the same level of protein synthesis & antiproteolysis. thus, it's equally important in the large scheme of things.

    COMPOSITION

    i'm not biased towards a shake-only postworkout philosophy, as long as either type contains a liquid component. 2 equally effective scenarios are:

    scenario one: as soon as possible postworkout - or even at the tail end of the workout, say, 10-20 minutes before it's over. i start chugging my postworkout shake 60 minutes into my workout, regardless of how long my workout takes.
    ---- 30-60g protein (0.25g/lb target BW). whey again is pretty cheap & works great here. research shows that postworkout protein doesn't inhibit glycogen synthesis, and can improve protein synthesis. this means that you can hedge your anabolic & anticatabolic bets by taking in a sizable amount of protein postworkout. whey happens to be a highly insulinogenic protein, so this is ideal at this point.
    ---- 60-120g (0.5g/lb target BW). dextrose & maltodextrin have traditionally been emphasized as ideal for postworkout because of their high-GI. however, i have issues with going pure dex for postworkout for a couple of reasons - and they have nothing to do with the threat of insulin resistance, because that whole scenario applies to a completely different population. first off, you can get some default dex within fruit or milk. secondly, pure dex has no micronutrient density, and i've said it before, antioxidant micronutrition is grossly under-emphasized whenever postworkout nutrition is discussed. dex is a fine addition to your postworkout carb arsenal, but to go pure dex for the largest carb hit of your day doesn't make sense from a micronutrient density standpoint

    adding fruit to your postworkout mix of carbs can potentially benefit folks who train with a high volume & do a lot of cardio (ie, precontest). the protection of liver glycogen status under such conditions can maintain the centrally neurologic signaling of the "fed state" and hence prevent lean tissue catabolism -- especially during hypocaloric balance.

    okay, so to be practical, simple examples are: 1.5 cups dry oats (OR) 1 cup dry oats + 1 banana (or pick any other fruit you like). these are just 2 examples out of many possibilities.

    milk considerations: whether or not you add milk to your postworkout shake depends upon personal preference and tolerance. the cons of milk are that many folks have some degree of lactose intolerance or milk allergy, and therefore are excluded from the possibility. the pros of milk postworkout are that it's highly insulinogenic, contains 6g dex per cup, and is a potent anabolic/anticatabolic substance that has outperformed whey in human research thus far.

    scenario two: ASAP postworkout - a solid-food meal consisting of:
    ---- 30-60g protein (0.25g/lb target BW) in the form of lean flesh, all types are fine, 5-8oz suffices.
    ---- 60-120g starchy carbs (0.5g/lb target BW), good examples are white or brown rice, and all types of potatoes & breads. my bias and preference here is to include a serving of higher-glucose fresh fruit, such as grapes, banana, or pineapple - for micronutrient/antioxidant purposes (we should all know by now that the fructose contribution of fruit, at about 7g on average per serving, is insignificant). another wrinkle to add here is that berries as a group have more antioxidant potential than other fruits. this confers benefit despite their lower concentration of glucose compared to grapes, pineapples, & bananas. so, don't worry if you choose other fruit than the higher-glucose ones postworkout; you're still winning out in the antioxidant arena.
    ---- water or milk, pick your poison.. a word about fruit juice: while i am not against small amounts of fructose from whole fruit for maintaining/replenishing liver glycogen, fruit juice on the other hand tends to cross the line of excess in terms of fructose, and you miss out on much of the beneficial phytochemicals & oxygen radical suppressors in whole fruit.

    now.. can you exceed the limits I listed postworkout? of course! your training program, body mass, & physiology may actually scream for it. this is merely a point of reference for the masses to digest, absorb, & process accordingly (gotta love corny nutrition puns).

    and there you have it... good luck & happy training, everyone.
     
  3. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    His idea on breakfast




    theoretically, you can get away with minimal undue catabolism during empty stomach morning cardio if it's at a very low intensity. even then, the objective & concept of the activity is way off.. this is because the goal of training for fat loss is to cause a maximal thermic effect over the next several hours as a result of the exercise bout. concentrating on use of fat oxidation during fasted-state training compromises your intensity threshold, and therefore your afterburn -- and therefore your net thermic effect of training.. not to mention it also hikes up your cortisol levels and hence the degree of short & long-term muscle catabolism.

    i am not at all a fan of training in the fasted state, under any circumstance. those who think they get better results that way either don't mind a greater-than-necessary loss of muscle, or simply don't have their nutrition planned right, and happened to incur an energy deficit by employing that tactic. keep in mind that the body can adapt to virtually any protocol over time, but there are just better ways of doing things.

    prebed nutrition is rather simple, low- to moderate GI balanced solid meal with a concentration on slow release. there's more to it, but i gotta dip for now. i'll be back. thanks for the response.
     
  4. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    about Alan


    "i have studied nutrition since 1990 & have 2 nutrition degrees (now picture the "whoop-dee-doo" motion). i was a personal trainer from about 1990-1995, and from then on i went full time with nutrition consulting & continuing education lectures to professionals in the allied fields. ego masturbation aside, i'm absolutely positive that everything is learnable, formal degrees or not. anyone can improve their knowledge, all it takes is time, effort, & an intense interest. i truly believe that the real genius lies in the dilligent & dogged study of the basics. a good starting text for ex-phys is "Physiology of Sport & Exercise" by costill & willmore. a good starting text for nutrition is "Optimum Sports Nutrition" by michael colgan (this is a little dated, but there's some definite gems in there; dude was way ahead of his time). one of the best overall texts by far is "Sports Supplements" by researchers jose antonio & jeff stout. if you wanna go hardcore with the fundamentals, get "Advanced Nutrition and Human ****bolism" by groff, gropper, & hunt. the list goes on, but as the saying goes, gotta give due credit since we only stand on the shoulders of the giants who preceeded us."
     
  5. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    His updated version.



    The protocol I recommend currently is strikingly similar to the original, with a few VERY insignificant tweaks. Note that TBW = target bodyweight:

    60-90 minutes preworkout, have a solid, balanced meal:

    Protein = 0.25g/lb TBW
    Carbs = 0.25g/lb TBW
    Adding fat at this point is fine, use your discretion as long as it fits into your macro goals. Note that this meal is skipped if you train 1st thing in the morning.

    [OR]

    30-0 minutes preworkout - (and/or sipped throughout the workout), have a liquid or easily digested meal:

    Protein = 0.25g/lb TBW
    Carbs = 0.25g/lb TBW
    If you were going to train for close to or more than 2 hours continuously, it would definitely benefit you to have this extra preworkout meal either immediately prior to, or sipped during training. Keep the fats here incidental, not added.

    Sooner the better postworkout - within 30 minutes, but optimally ASAP, have either a liquid or solid meal:

    Protein = 0.25g/lb TBW
    Carbs = 0.5g/lb TBW
    Fats here should be kept minimal to moderate.
    I personally start on this shake 60 minutes into my weight workouts, which take 80-90 minutes.

    Post-postworkout is simply your next sheduled meal, whether it's 1, 2, or 3 hrs later simply doesn't matter - especially if your immediate postworkout meal (which may be split up into 2 halves) was designed as above.

    NOTE: The small differences are mainly geared toward simplifying the guidelines. The rest of the recommendations about food types are pretty much the same. Also note that I no longer give a damn about GI, it doesn't really make a difference one way or another. If you want high GI carbs pre and/or during training, go for it. As time has passed, GI has proven itself to be a worthless, irrelevant index. Insulinogenesis is a separate issue, and striving to keep insulin up during & postworkout is a great idea. This is accomplished by both food type & food amount, the latter being more important. There's obviously a lot more to this, but that's the important basics. The rest is fringe.
     
  6. MikeMartial

    MikeMartial Black Belt

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    Awesome stuff, thanks for posting, Vedic.
     
  7. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    No problem
     
  8. joshetc

    joshetc butthole hurts from teh gay

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    So who is right? You or your idol?

    Also, it is nice to see some discussion on pre-workout shakes/nutrition. I've been toying with the idea of something more than a fist full of vitamins and stimulants and only a peri-workout and post workout drink.
     
  9. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    Sarcasm aside. he isn't my idol, and personally I don't talk shit to someone who taught me that I really don't know much(that would be you).

    He isn't talking about a PWO shake number 1. Number 2. Even f he was, just because I like all of his work it doesn't mean I agree with all of it. Dave Barr is another example. 3. I do things my way because they work, thats why he does things his way. Its not complicated.

    Just because Royce is great at BJJ it doesn't mean i would like and use all that he has taught me. Do you always react so childish when someone proves you wrong on something?
     
  10. joshetc

    joshetc butthole hurts from teh gay

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    There is nothing wrong with idolizing someone. I'm just busting your balls, anyway.

    I'm also not the first person disagree with you on that front. I'm not acting childish, you shouldn't take every discussion so seriously. Just felt the need to point out that someone you respect as an intelligent individual agrees with me about something that disagrees with something I've seen you discuss several times here.

    If we're all going to say the same thing, there isn't much of a point in discussing nutrition, is there?
     
  11. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    I don't take it seriously. I just find it amusing when someone such as yourself tries to tell me how the body works, and then when I show you, you remain quiet except for little jabs. Its standard.

    Either way, if you read more of his work, he himself says he is open minded to new theories as am I, however some things I stick to. IF i wasn't I would have been High GI for life.
     
  12. joshetc

    joshetc butthole hurts from teh gay

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    There is no point in doing anything other than taking little stabs at what you say. I haven't seen anything other than that, that I disagree with you on.

    I didn't say anything the other week in response to your rebuttal because of a car accident. The gist of it was fat in shakes doesn't slow the absorption of protein in drinks because fat on a steak does slow the absorption of protein in meat, right?

    I'm interested to know why the emulsification of a fat and protein doesn't cause a fat molecule to be digested as a pre-requisite for the digestion of a protein molecule.

    PS. Thanks for being so informative. Even if you don't respond well to people disagreeing with you, you are very informative to this board.
     
  13. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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    Yes and the slowing in the meat is minimal.

    Why would it? They don't work in the same manner. The digestion behavior of the two are complete opposites.

    Lol thanks
     
  14. Loomy

    Loomy Purple Belt

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  15. joshetc

    joshetc butthole hurts from teh gay

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    I understand they aren't similar in their digestion. I would think each protein molecule having an accompanying fat molecule would decrease the surface area of each individual molecule by at least 20%. Sort of the opposite of crushing and ingesting extended-release medication.

    edit:

    I think it is pretty clear that Alan Aragon wrote the article, what is the point in linking a bodybuilding forum when the author and complete article is posted here?
     
  16. Vedic

    Vedic Purple Belt

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  17. Monger

    Monger Chronically Injured

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    Thanks for the post, Vedic. I'll have to check out Alan's site.
     
  18. Saith

    Saith UFC poster boy

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    *removes tampon from thread*
     
  19. greggsauce

    greggsauce Orange Belt

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    *replaces tampon*

    Protein + Fats makes me uber buff d00ds
     
  20. Loomy

    Loomy Purple Belt

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    Sorry guys, alan posted it originally and only on the bodybuilding.com forums. So either you source the original or you copy it.

    It grinds my gears because it isn't just amateur, it can be sleazy and misleading. You could have changed something in his post and the people reading this wouldn't know. The original could be updated and people reading this wouldn't know. In the real world you can't get away with just copying and pasting things willy nilly.

    If you want to do things right, just link the original source next time, that's it, no way around it.
     

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