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FitTips for One and All - Vol. VI, No. 9

FitTips for One and All
Volume VI, Number 9

Presented by Fitness for One and All
Director: Gary F. Zeolla

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God-given Foods Eating Plan - The approach of this book is to study different foods and food groups, with a chapter devoted to each major classification of foods. First the Biblical evidence is considered, then the modern-day scientific research is reviewed. Foods are then classified as "God-given foods" and "non-God-given foods." The main point will be a healthy eating plan is composed of a variety of God-given foods and avoids non-God-given foods.

Pre-workout Nutrition

By Gary F. Zeolla

In my God-given Foods Eating Plan book, I mention about consuming a post-workout drink immediately after my powerlifting workouts. I give the ingredients as follows:

Purified water – 15 ounces
Brown rice syrup – 2 tablespoons
Blended protein powder – 1 scoop
Extra-virgin olive oil – 1 tablespoon
Cocoa powder – 1 teaspoon (p.232).

The values for this drink are as follows:

Calories: 392
Carbs: 38g (40%)
Protein: 25g (25%)
Fat: 15g (35%).

As I discuss in my book, the olive oil is included as monounsaturated fasts elevate testosterone levels. Also, the fat keeps the carbs from causing too much of an insulin spike.

It should be noted that the brown rice syrup does not dissolve well in chilled water. So to make this drink, I would use lukewarm water, but then chill the drink before consumption.

New Schedule

Since my book was published, my schedule has changed some. I now drink a pre-workout drink about half an hour before I work out. I then take four grams of glutamine immediately post-workout, shower, and then eat dinner.

Initially, I drank this same drink, except I used tea instead water to mix it with (for the caffeine and antioxidants), and thus I did not use the cocoa powder. I also only used about 8 ounces of water to brew the tea as 15 ounces is just too much pre-workout. I will brew the tea for about five minutes, then pour it into a shaker cup and add the other ingredients while it is still warm. That way, the brown rice syrup dissolves easily.

I also will add four grams of creatine to the pre-workout drink. But that should not be added ahead of time as creatine degrades if left in water. So I add the creatine immediately before consumption.

Hypoglycemia and Different Carb Sources

In December of 2007, I was diagnosed with reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Follow the link for details on this condition. But simply, when I consume carbs, especially high glycemic carbs, my blood sugar will rise more than for most people about half an hour after eating, but then it will crash down too low an hour after that.

With this condition, one concern I had was keeping my blood sugar from dropping too low by the end of my workouts. Normal blood sugar after eating is 70-120 mg/ dl, but I have found it is generally best if my blood sugar does not spike much over 100. If it does, it almost always drops below 70 an hour later.

Testing my response to this drink, it would spike my blood sugar into the 90s in the half hour before I worked out. Then after my workouts, my blood glucose would be in high 60s. That is a little low, but not too bad considering.

But I experimented to see if some other carb source would give better control. I kept the amount of oil and protein powder the same and used iso-caloric amounts of the carb source. First I tried maltodextrin, NOW's Carbo Gain to be exact. It contains: "100% Pure Maltodextrin from Corn."

Maltodextrin is rated as being very high glycemic. And in fact, this product spiked my blood glucose to over 100, then it dropped into the low 60s.

I then tried Rice Oligodextrin. I mention this product in my book. This is a specialty product from It is advertised as being low glycemic. But my glucose readings were about the same as for maltodextrin. So it is in reality high glycemic.

I also mention OutMuscle in my book, also available from But for some reason, it tends to give me an upset stomach, so I knew it wouldn't work pre-workout.

But then I tried honey. I recommend it in my book due to its high antioxidant content. But it produced the same spike and crash as maltodextrin. Then I tried molasses. I recommend it as a sweetener due to it being the only sweetener that actually contains a significant amount of nutrients, especially iron and calcium. But its glycemic response was the same as honey, and it tasted awful as well. But it should be noted, that smaller amounts of honey and molasses, say using honey instead of jelly on a peanut butter sandwich, are not problematic blood sugar-wise.

Using Bananas

Later I tried something completely different. But for this pre-workout drink, you will need to use a blender or Vitamix:

Purified water – 8 ounces
Bananas - 1 large or 2 small
Blended protein powder – 1 scoop
Peanut butter – 1 tablespoon

This recipe only spiked my blood sugar in into the upper 80s before my workout, and then it only dropped to the low 70s after my workout.

I also tried just eating the banana(s), while drinking a glass of protein powder with olive oil. It only caused a rise of my blood sugar into the mid 70s, but then it stayed there until after my workout. So using bananas kept my blood sugar from dropping through the course of the workout better than anything else I tried. And the bananas seemed to digest just fine with only eating them half an hour before the workout. This is all not surprising considering the following:

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber.

A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes (Bananas).

Bananas are also high in potassium, an electrolyte that is lost in sweat. So that is another advantage in consuming a banana or two pre-workout. On hot days, I’ll also add a dash or two of salt as sodium is also lost in sweat.

However, with the bananas, I felt sluggish at the start of my workout. This is possibly because there was not enough of a blood sugar spike or because the bananas had not yet digested sufficiently.

Then I tried one tablespoon of brown rice syrup and one medium banana. That spiked my blood sugar somewhat more than just bananas and it dropped more afterwards. But I felt great throughout my workout. So the mixture of brown rice syrup and bananas seemed to work best when both my blood sugar and workout performance are considered.

I also tried using other fruit instead of bananas, like a large peach or a couple of medium sized plums. And that worked just about as well as a banana. But the difference would be that a banana would be the easiest and quickest to digest.

Also note that using banana or other fruit would only be good pre-workout. It would not be good post-workout as the fructose in the bananas would not be effective for muscle glycogen replenishment. Much better would be the drink with the brown rice syrup as it contains carbs that are all effective for muscle-glycogen replenishment. This issue is discussed at length in my book.

Using Pure Muscle Carbs

Later I came across a completely different product, Ultimate Nutrition's Pure Muscle Carbs. It is an all-natural product.

The ingredients are:

Specially Processed Complex Carbohydrates Extracted From Grain Sources, Crystalline Fructose, Citric Acid, Natural Fruit Punch Flavor, And Natural Beet Powder (For Color).

Using my original recipe but one protein powder sized scoop of this product instead of the brown rice syrup produced an interesting response. My blood sugar spiked to near 100 before my workout, but then it only dropped to 91 after my workout. So it kept my blood sugar rather stable throughout my workout.

When I increased the amount to 1-1/2 scoops, my blood sugar spiked to over 120. But then it only dropped to the mid 90s after my workout. So it would seem that even at higher amounts, this product does not cause a "reactive" drop in blood sugar. I also feel energized throughout my workout.

Later I tried just half a scoop of the Pure Muscle Carbs along with a small banana. And that worked very well also, both in regards to blood sugar and how I felt throughout my workout.

What's interesting though is an Internet friend contacted Ultimate Nutrition, asking if the Pure Muscle Carbs product was gluten free. Gluten is found in the protein of wheat, and some people such as her are sensitive to it. Since this product is "pure carbs" I doubted it would have gluten even if the grain source was wheat.

But the response she got back was, "The first ingredient is maltodextrin from corn source." Corn is gluten free, so this product should be okay for those sensitive to gluten. But in regards to this article, this means the "complex carbohydrates" in the Pure Muscle Carbs are actually the same as in NOW's Carbo Gain.

However, I'm not sure why the Pure Muscle Carbs gives such a better glycemic response. Fructose is very low glycemic, so maybe that is moderating the glycemic response. Or maybe the corn carbs are processed differently.

But whatever the case, it would seem the combination of a banana and a tablespoon of brown rice syrup, or a scoop of Pure Muscle Carbs, or half a scoop of the Pure Muscle Carbs with a banana will all work well for a pre-workout drink.

However, the Pure Muscle Carbs are more convenient than the brown rice syrup as you do not need to be concerned about the water being warm for it to dissolve. So the all ingredients, including the creatine, can be placed in a shaker cup ahead of time and then cold water added when it is time to drink it.

Label Information

It must be noted that there is a problem with the label information for the Pure Muscle Carbs. It is given as follows:

Serving Size – 2 Scoops (55g)
Servings Per Container – 23

Amount Per Serving
Calories 208
Calories From Fat 0
% Daily Value*
Total Fat – 0g – 0%
Saturated Fat – 0g – 0%
Cholesterol – 0mg – 0%
Potassium – 0mg – 0%
Sodium – 35mg – 1%
Total Carbohydrates – 52g – 17%
Dietary Fiber – 0g – 0%
Sugars – 11g
Protein – 0g – 0%

So the values are based on the contents of two scoops weighing 55 grams, which would mean one scoop should weight 27.5 grams. However, when I weighed the contents of one scoop, it was 45 grams. I can only assume there is much settling and compacting of the contents during storage and shipping. So the product as I now have it is denser than when Ultimate Nutrition did its calculations.

But whatever the case, below are the adjusted values for items that are not zero for one, 45 gram scoop.

Calories 166
Sodium – 29 mg – 1%
Total Carbohydrates – 43 g
Sugars – 9g

The two tablespoons of brown rice syrup I started with provide 150 calories and 38 grams of carbs. So with these adjusted values, one scoop of the Pure Muscle Carbs would be the appropriate amount, and the total values for the drink will be about the same as given above, just a little higher in carbs and calories.

Other Uses

As the ingredients indicate, the Pure Muscle Carbs contains some fructose. But as can be seen, the amount is not that high in relation to the total carbs. One scoop contains 43 grams of carbohydrates, but only nine of those are from sugar, the rest are complex carbs. So this product would work for post-workout nutrition as well.

I also used this same drink immediately after weighing in for my most recent contest. I also prepared three shaker cups for during the contest, one to mix up and drink before warming up for each of the three powerlifts. But I had to use dehydrated iced tea instead of brewing fresh tea. Iced tea does not contain near the amount of antioxidants as freshly brewed tea does, but it does contain caffeine, and that I need to get through the grueling day that is a powerlifting contest.

Note also, the creatine and glutamine I use are both also Ultimate Nutrition products. These are the best creatine and glutamine products I have used.

New on Fitness for One and All

Contest Plans for November 2008 is a new forum post. It details my plans for my next contest.

Full Workout Logs: Starting 7/20/08: In-Season; Weeks 1 - 4 of 4 has been completed with all of my workouts for this period.

Full Workout Logs: Starting 8/18/08: Rotation I will record the workouts for my next routine.

Also by Gary F. Zeolla:
Darkness to Light Web site and Darkness to Light newsletter.
Christian Theology, Apologetics, Cults, Ethics, Bible Versions, and much more.


Disclaimer: The material presented in this newsletter is intended for educational purposes only. The director, Gary F. Zeolla, is not offering medical or legal advice. Accuracy of information is attempted but not guaranteed. Before undertaking any medical treatments or diet, exercise, or health improvement programs, consult your doctor. The director is in no way responsible or liable for any harm ( physical, mental, emotional, or financial) that results from following any of the advice or information in this newsletter.

All material in this newsletter is copyrighted © 2008 by Gary F. Zeolla or as indicated otherwise.