Nutrition and lifting 101 gives you the basics for pre, intra & post workout. Simple nutrition tweaks can make all the difference in your performance & results! Find out the basics and what I do!

Nutrition and Lifting 101: The Basics for Pre, Intra & Post Workout | Burpees for Breakfast

Nutrition and Lifting 101: The Basics for Pre, Intra & Post Workout

WELCOME to the Capable & Strong Series! 

This series is all about strength training. We will be chatting about things from reasons why women should lift to suggested supplements to building a strong body and mind! And you can expect strength training workouts.

Capable & Strong Series! | Burpees for Breakfast

Good Morning! Happy Monday!

Today’s topic is Nutrition and Lifting 101. I’m going SUPER #basic and high level today. I’ll delve deep into more specifics in a later post and provide some links for further reading. I really just want to give you a high level overview and acknowledge that yes, caveats exist and there will always be a level of ‘it depends’.

Nutrition is where it’s at. I can workout as hard as I want but if my nutrition is crap, I won’t see the physical results I want AND, it could have a negative impact on my training.

Let’s just get this out of the way: Ladies, if you start lifting heavier things, you’ll very likely need to increase your calorie intake. Growing muscles is no easy task and if you want to do it, you need to fuel properly. Eat More, Exercise More might sound counterintuitive, but it’s necessary, for at least a time.

[bctt tweet=”If you lift heavy, you need to eat more. Eat to fuel your goals #capablestrong #liftheavy” username=”burpees4bfast”]

I’ve been working out consistently for about 7 – 8 years. I’ve also dealt with gut issues for a large majority of that time. My gut issues affect my pre / post workout nutrition, depending on the type of workout I’m doing. I’ll share my personal preference under each category too.

Alright, let’s talk nutrition and lifting 101, shall we?!


There are a few different camps with pre-workout nutrition. I’ve experimented with all of them and it honestly just depends (that phrase again!) on what type of workout I’m doing and when I’m doing it.

Fasted: Just like it sounds – working out without having any pre-workout fuel. You might do this if you workout first thing in the morning. Benefits can including improved insulin sensitivity and promotion of growth hormone.

Liquid: This looks like drinking your BCAAs / EAAs and creatine before you lift. This could also look like including some kind of stimulant like green tea or bullet proof coffee to help with energy. Or, you could try a pre-workout supplement.

Real Food: Eating fats, carbs and protein pre-workout can help provide the fuel needed to perform in your workout. This could look like a snack or a full meal.

Aim for your pre-workout up to 2 – 3 hours before your workout. If you do a solid meal, aim to finish at least 1 – 2 hours before your workout.

WHAT I DO: If I’m working out after work, which I tend to do, I’ll eat lunch around 12/12:30p, have a small snack (carb / protein, usually) around 2/2:30p and workout starting at 4. This can change depending on the day – when I ate lunch, what I had and if I felt like I needed some extra energy. A few times a week, I’ll prep my EAA / Creatine cocktail and start sipping up to 1 hr pre-workout (I usually do 1/2 – 3/4 a scoop of EAAs).

On Saturday mornings, I used to workout fasted. Depending on my sleep and what’s on deck for the workout, I can do it. But, I’ve found lately that I need just a little bit of something when I wake up to get me through a workout. I’ll either do half a banana with a smudge of PB or powdered greens, collagen and almond milk.

Intra Workout

I’m guessing most people are either downing water or a sports drink during a lifting / HIIT session. My first suggestion is to keep an eye on the sports drink. They are often super sugary and contain some not great ingredients. Second, if you want that sweet fix, try consuming your BCAAs or EAAs during your workout. We will chat BCAAs / EAAs below!

WHAT I DO: I’m usually sipping on my EAA / Creatine cocktail during my workout.

Post Workout

Post workout feeding is key! You need to replenish glycogen stores and give your body the fuel it needs to recover. When we lift, we are tearing our muscles, so we gotta give them what they need to recover and grow. While protein is needed for muscle growth, we need a higher carbohydrate intake post workout.

Liquid: This could look like a protein shake with protein powder and some kind of carbohydrate – perhaps in the form of fruit. I LOVE this Pina Colada Recovery Shake!

Real Food: This could look like a real food snack or an actual meal – perhaps breakfast or dinner.

There are different ratios out there, but a good rule of thumb is a 3:2 or 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein post workout. This doesn’t mean that you need to measure, you can if you like, but just be mindful that you are getting in a good amount of carbs and adding in some protein. Proteins powders can be helpful for beginners because they often contain a pretty decent ratio and you’ll just need to add a little extra carb.

In terms of timing, aim for a feeding window no more than 2 hours post workout. If you know you won’t be able to do a full meal, pack a snack or do a protein shake.

WHAT I DO: Since we workout after work, we usually finish and have about 1 – 2 hrs before dinner. I’ve learned through trial and error that my body does not do well with any kind of solid food for at least 1 hour post workout. Smoothies usually require 30 – 45 minutes. I usually opt for dinner and make that meal heavy in carb (sushi rice or plantains) and protein. I’ll also drink the rest of my EAA scoop, sometimes with tart cherry juice or watermelon tea.


Just know that supplements ARE NOT necessary. They acts as a supplement to your nutrition and can enhance your workouts.


Can be taken before, during or after your workout. I’ve experimented with it before, during and after. Personally, I prefer before and during. Around 5g per day is great. Do not take on non-workout days. If you want more info on Creatine, check out this article. The brand I use: Now Foods Creatine.


BCAA (Branch Chain Amino Acids) or EAA (Essential Amino Acids) are important proteins for muscle growth and repair. When we lift weights, we are essentially tearing our muscles. Recovery helps build them back, bigger and stronger. BCAA’s & EAA’s help with that process. I’d recommend EAA’s over BCAA’s as BCAA’s only contain 3 of the 8 essential amino acids our body needs, whereas EAA’s contain all 8.

No more than 5g per day is needed, unless you are SUPER sore, then go 7 – 8g for the day. If you are too sore to move…then that means you need a rest day. I swear by my EAAs for swift muscle recovery! The brand I use: Prime Nutrition EAA Supplement.

[bctt tweet=”Pre, Intra, Post Workout Nutrition & Supplements #OTB! #liftheavy” username=”burpees4bfast”]

Now, overall, you gotta find what works for you. Just because doing a fasted workout sounds cool and has some fun benefits does not mean that it’s right for you and your workouts. Listen to your body – how does it feel before you workout? Are you having trouble keeping your energy levels up and getting through your workout? How do you feel the next day? All these play into your workout nutrition.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. I’ve tried quite a few different things and I found something that works for me, right now. My nutrition looked different when I was just running. Also, don’t be afraid to tweak when something isn’t working any more.

A couple great resources:

A few things to note:

  • Mindset2Muscles is AVAILABLE! Remember, it’s a 6 week body and mind transformation strength training program. It offers nutritional guidelines and support. The Mindset Journaling component is what makes Mindset2Muscles unique. We address those limiting beliefs and negative self-talk to help you exceed expectations and crush your goals. Find out more details on the sales page or head over to the shop and purchase!
  • The Burpees for Breakfast Squad is my favorite. It’s a private Facebook community of health-minded women where we talk about fitness, nutrition, mindset, wellness, self-care and more! Join The Squad today – it’s free!!
  • Local Readers – I’ll be doing a live fitness class and mini wellness workshop with ATHLETA on July 16th! Check out the Facebook page or The Squad for more details!

How was your weekend?! Mine was preettttty stellar! Friday, I had a half day. I started with a coaching discovery call and a BAS (salmon, zoodles, hummus dressing, arugula and peas). I did some business work, took some photos of stuff I’m selling on Facebook, ran a few errands, and just hung out watching the new season of Jane the Virgin!

Saturday, I got back to the gym after a week off doing yoga and it was SO GREAT! Brunch, a little cleaning, farmer’s market trip, a few errands and then I spent like 3 hours doing business stuff. It was just wonderful – the weather was amazing too. I signed up for a new business coaching group, so I did a bit of work on that too, after setting up a church for Sunday.

Sunday, I did check in at church, ran a couple errands, banged out food prep, taught a class – which was so fun – did some work and relaxed. I was spent after my class, but it was great I also have the opportunity to teach a nutrition class there! Can’t wait.

So pumped for Monday, y’all! What do you have on deck?


What does your workout nutrition look like?
What did you do this weekend?!