Nutrition is one of the most confusing aspects of muscle building, and many bodybuilders achieve poor progress specifically due to serious diet errors. Those who wish to build muscle mass are often curious as to exactly when they should consume meals, especially in relation to the weight training workout itself, with some aiming to ingest a complete meal prior to performing a workout, and others avoiding food before a grueling weight lifting session, with the feeling that more fat burning will occur when food is restricted prior to an exercise period.

Obviously, these wide range of opinions creates much frustration for the bodybuilder who is seeking maximum muscle building results, but there is a clear answer in regards to eating food prior to weight lifting, in that doing so is extremely beneficial for muscle gain. In fact, intensity must remain extremely high for a workout to be effective in boosting muscle mass, and this becomes difficult if not impossible for most when attempting to perform a weight lifting session on an empty stomach. For those who decide to engage in an early morning workout, this becomes especially problematic, as energy levels are low due to the evening fast, and although performing a weight training workout in such a scenario will certainly prove possible, intensity will suffer greatly, which leads to lackluster muscle building results.

The best method is to fuel the body with a properly balanced protein and carbohydrate meal prior to a weight lifting session, as protein is always used by the body for recovery and to build new muscle mass, while carbohydrates are the chosen fuel for intense workout periods, and designing a meal with sufficient carbohydrates preceding a weight lifting workout will allow energy levels to provide dramatic intensity, propelling muscle gains to new heights. Some tend to experience feelings of illness when consuming a meal in proximity to a weight lifting session, but this does not necessitate performing a workout on an empty stomach, as the time between the workout meal and training can extend to the minimum necessary for a bodybuilder to train without experiencing feelings of nausea, which will greatly enhance results.

There are bodybuilders who have no choice but to perform their weight training sessions prior to work, otherwise they will either not have the time for a workout, or are likely to become busy later in the day and neglect their weight lifting obligations, therefore, in such circumstances, it's far better to perform a workout in the morning without the benefit of a meal preceding such a session than to become inconsistent, but if there is any possible way to consume a meal at least 30 minutes before a weight lifting workout (60-90 minutes is preferred), then doing so will greatly assist in improving long term muscle gains.

Weight lifting is not the most enjoyable activity, but the results achieved when following a potent routine are motivational, and worth the effort, but many experience a feeling of negativity towards their workouts that eventually promotes inconsistency specifically due to improper nutrition, as the absence of an energizing meal prior to a weight lifting session can sap all desire to train. Even those who seek fat loss benefit from consuming food before their workout, as a properly structured meal will not interfere with fat reduction, and in fact, withholding food can slow metabolism and result in muscle loss, which harms physical appearance, and will adversely impact the overall speed of fat loss. Since many are following incorrect muscle building or fat reduction diet advice found in magazines or on popular Internet fitness sites, they become convinced that certain techniques, such as skipping food before a weight lifting workout, is beneficial to long term results, when in fact, such tactics are the very reason why numerous bodybuilders gain muscle mass at a slower than expected pace, and those seeking fat loss burn muscle mass at an alarming rate, or find that fat reduction is far less impressive and dramatic than the initial expectations.

Do not allow hunger to become the barometer for whether you consume food prior to a weight lifting session, as even those with small appetites are in need of nutrition before their workout, and there are a wide range of convenient, quick to prepare, and easy to consume protein and carbohydrate solutions that will make a meal prior to weight lifting enjoyable to consume, and very easy to digest.

Author's Bio: 

Francesco Castano is the owner of IncrediBody, a physical fitness company dedicated to helping others learn exactly how to gain muscle mass and lose weight without supplements or drugs. He authors two programs, one called MuscleNOW, teaching the correct bodybuilding diet and weight training program for muscle gain at, and Fat Vanish, which teaches how to lose weight & burn fat for natural weight loss, at He includes lifetime email personal training with both programs, where he personally assists all of his clients with training and diet questions, and has hundreds of testimonials validating the effectiveness of his techniques. He also offers weight training equipment, protein powder and fitness accessories at Please visit his web sites, and feel free to contact Francesco at any time with your muscle building or weight loss questions!