Max your next PT test with this proven nutrition strategy
Contrary to popular belief, nutrition timing isn't a huge deal. Your human body is smart, assuming you're a human and not a robot or lizard alien wearing a human skin suit. Your body knows how to use the fuel you give it. It doesn't rely on you feeding it the exactly correct proportion of nutrients at the exactly perfect time each day.
That being said, there are some things you can do to ensure that you crush your next PT test. Couple this advice with a comprehensive training plan like the Mighty Fit Plan with the Endurance Boost Plug-In, and you're basically guaranteed a meritorious promotion.
Here's exactly what you need to do…
Step 1: Pre-test nutrition
Consume a normal high protein meal with a solid source of starch or carbs, some good fat, and plenty of micronutrient-containing veggies 2-3 hours before your workout.
Protein before a workout, even hours before a workout, can help maintain and increase muscle size, reduce and prevent chronic muscle damage, and put plenty of amino acids in your bloodstream when your body is most apt to use them.
Carbs before your workout will fuel your training by putting glucose readily in your bloodstream and by topping off your muscle and liver glycogen stores. In addition, carbs stimulate insulin, which is good if you are consuming protein. Insulin prevents muscle protein breakdown and promotes muscle protein synthesis to help your muscles grow.
Fats, although they don't seem to directly impact performance, do slow down digestion. This means you will have more energy longer because your body is slowly burning the fuel from the rest of your meal.
Bottom line: No need for fancy sports gels or drinks here! Just eat smart.
Have a real whole food meal 2-3 hours before. You could also opt for an easier-to-digest shake with all the needed essentials.
CAFFEINE: The most effective and affordable pre-workout in existence is caffeine. Taken either as a cup of coffee or in a pill, have the equivalent of 200-400mg about an hour before your test, and your system will be primed. Don't waste your money on any powders in the exchange that come in a plastic tub or energy drinks.
Step 2: During the test nutrition
This portion is only if your PT test is going to take more than 90 minutes!
On average, a PT test lasts an hour with long breaks, You don't need to eat during it. Consuming anything during a test should be reserved for long sessions like the USMC Combat Endurance Test or pretty much every day at BUD/S.
That being said, you want to focus on protein and fast carbs.
Protein during a workout prevents muscles from breaking down and aids in quicker recovery. For people grinding out multiple hour runs or multiple workouts a day, this is imperative.
Carbs keep your energy substrate elevated during a workout. Once you deplete your glycogen stores, you need to refuel them to stay at a high level of performance for anaerobic activity. This is key if performance is a high priority for you.
Fats aren't really necessary during training. Plus, they could hit your stomach like a ton of bricks. Stick to protein and carbs. Ensure you are getting your fats in your other meals of the day, like in the meals provided in The Ultimate Composure Nutrition Guide.
You'll notice a sports drink here. The ONLY time you need one of these sugar bombs is when you are training like a maniac. Otherwise, it's just destroying your teeth and body.
Step 3: Post-workout nutrition
In order to recover (speaking of recovery, here's how you recover from an injury) so that you can hit it hard tomorrow focus on meals consisting of whole food.
A meal that looks pretty much just like your pre-workout meal is spot-on for post-workout nutrition, consumed within 2 hours after your workout.
Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to throw a protein shake down your throat the minute you stop working out. Relax, go home, have a shower, cook a nice meal, and enjoy it.
You easily have up to 90 minutes, maybe even more, after a workout to get the nutrition your body requires.
Besides, the protein you ate before your workout is still peaking in your system. Having a full meal rather than a pure protein shake also helps slow down muscle protein synthesis, which is a good thing. It means your body will have more of a chance to get those amino acids from the protein to where they are needed most in your body.
Pretty simple, right?
Keep things simple and finish strong.
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Joel Soriano)
The major assumption I'm making is that you don't generally eat like an asshat in your everyday life. As a military professional, you should be fueling your body with high protein whole food meals. Like the kind you can get from the chow hall. Don't hate, the highest quality nutrition on military bases is in the dining facility. It's definitely not at Pizza Hut or Xtreme Frank's Franks.
No carb loading necessary.
No magic amino drink needed.
Just real foods eaten regularly.
Send me any questions, comments, or concerns you have about your specific nutrition needs in regards to your training at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you just want my FREE nutrition guide that covers everything you need to successfully cut, bulk, or maintain your current composition, grab it here!
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