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  • To fast or not to fast?

    Hi Dr. Feigenbaum,
    I want to ask you this question regarding fasting prior training. My situation is that I'm close to starting college and just got my class schedule, after seeing it I tealreal that in order to maintain my meals schedules (which I do following the rules for optimizing protein intake) I need to train first thing in the morning, around 6.30 to 7 AM, which means I don't have much time to take a proper breakfast. What would you recommend in this case, A). Train fasted, maybe having a cup of coffee 15-30 minutes before working out. B). Try to drink/eat some fast digesting carb source (without protein), say Gatorade, a piece of fruit, etc. Or C). Train in the afternoon/evening after classes (I don't like this much because of meal/study timing).
    I must recall that in options A and B I would be eating a proper meal (in this case breakfast) as soon as I get home, which would be 10-15 minutes after training.
    ​​​​​​Thanks Doctor.

  • #2
    I would not train first thing in the morning while in college, as it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY you actually need to do this. College, even when taking 15-18 hours per semester (plus labs) is a time of immense freedom with regards to your time. I'd train after class or between classes if it were me.

    That said, if you're really into training first thing in the AM I'd wake up, drink coffee, 20g of whey, and have a 1/2 cup of oats then go train.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post
      I would not train first thing in the morning while in college, as it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY you actually need to do this. College, even when taking 15-18 hours per semester (plus labs) is a time of immense freedom with regards to your time. I'd train after class or between classes if it were me.

      That said, if you're really into training first thing in the AM I'd wake up, drink coffee, 20g of whey, and have a 1/2 cup of oats then go train.
      I may reconsider training after class, however, I didn't thought about it since I also need to place some time for studying. I just say training in the morning because that's what I've been doing in the past few months, but not that early around 10-11 AM.
      If I were to train in the morning is that really important to have protein? because if I took protein that pre workout meal I would need to wait 3-4 hours for the next meal and by that time I must be in class already, what I was thinking was drinking coffee and maybe have a carb source (oats/fruit) and after training have a meal with all macronrutients.
      Thanks for the answer doc, always appreciate it.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sgarciac07 View Post

        If I were to train in the morning is that really important to have protein?
        For you, yes. It is very important for you to get protein in.


        Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
        ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post

          For you, yes. It is very important for you to get protein in.

          My question was more focues on getting the protein prior working out, I always make sure to get at least 1gr/lb (although I alweays go over).
          But thank you so much, I will frind a way to train with an appropiate meal timing.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sgarciac07 View Post

            My question was more focues on getting the protein prior working out, I always make sure to get at least 1gr/lb (although I alweays go over).
            But thank you so much, I will frind a way to train with an appropiate meal timing.
            I would take protein prior to training, yes.
            Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
            ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post

              I would take protein prior to training, yes.
              Hi Jordan,

              If I remember correctly, you have said elsewhere the precise timing of protein consumption is not important as the body does muscle protein synthesis (and destruction) 24/7. Could you please clarify the benefits of pre-workout protein intake here?

              Thanks.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by sciomako View Post

                Hi Jordan,

                If I remember correctly, you have said elsewhere the precise timing of protein consumption is not important as the body does muscle protein synthesis (and destruction) 24/7. Could you please clarify the benefits of pre-workout protein intake here?

                Thanks.
                Correct- the comment you're referring to is in the context of eating every 3hrs vs 5 hrs or some other schedule.

                That said, elevating blood amino acid levels regularly tends to increase LBM secondary to muscle gain. For someone who is training in the AM and who is wanting to gain LBM, I would recommend getting a dose of protein in first thing (like a mini breakfast) rather than skipping the protein. I feel less strongly about this when someone is not gaining weight, though I would prefer people have a protein source at most of their meals.

                Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post

                  Correct- the comment you're referring to is in the context of eating every 3hrs vs 5 hrs or some other schedule.

                  That said, elevating blood amino acid levels regularly tends to increase LBM secondary to muscle gain. For someone who is training in the AM and who is wanting to gain LBM, I would recommend getting a dose of protein in first thing (like a mini breakfast) rather than skipping the protein. I feel less strongly about this when someone is not gaining weight, though I would prefer people have a protein source at most of their meals.
                  But what if I consume the same number number of meals either way if I eat prior training?
                  say we have two equal twins in all aspects, they both (twin A and B respectively) eat 4 meals throughout the day every 3-5 hours (same calories/macronutrients), but Twin A eats prior training and Twin B doesn't, is there gonna be a difference between them in terms of LBM acquisition?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sgarciac07 View Post

                    But what if I consume the same number number of meals either way if I eat prior training? say we have two equal twins in all aspects, they both (twin A and B respectively) eat 4 meals throughout the day every 3-5 hours (same calories/macronutrients), but Twin A eats prior training and Twin B doesn't, is there gonna be a difference between them in terms of LBM acquisition?
                    Maybe, maybe not. It would be hard to isolate a singular issue. On the other hand, the data suggests that regular bouts of elevated blood amino acids produces increased LBM compared to less frequent bouts in the short term. No long term studies have been done on this.

                    That said, you are very underweight and need to gain a significant amount of muscle mass. Rather than worry if you could get away with something- not eating significant amounts of protein regularly in this instance.

                    You don't have to follow my advice, of course. However, I fear you'll not do as well as you otherwise would and I would recommend eating protein before your training session in the AM if you have to train then.
                    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
                    ///Website /// Instagram /// Peri™ Rx /// Whey Rx /// Barbell Medicine Podcast/// Newsletter /// Seminars ///

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                    • sgarciac07
                      sgarciac07 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks doc, I will try both and see with which one I feel more comfortable with, and maybe who knows I can even try to train in the afternoons if I change my schedule.

                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Jordan Feigenbaum View Post

                    Correct- the comment you're referring to is in the context of eating every 3hrs vs 5 hrs or some other schedule.

                    That said, elevating blood amino acid levels regularly tends to increase LBM secondary to muscle gain. For someone who is training in the AM and who is wanting to gain LBM, I would recommend getting a dose of protein in first thing (like a mini breakfast) rather than skipping the protein. I feel less strongly about this when someone is not gaining weight, though I would prefer people have a protein source at most of their meals.
                    Ah, I see. Now I understand what you mean. Thanks.

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