Before After and During Workout Supplements


Hello, I'm 5'10" tall, weigh 165 pounds and have 12% body fat. I'm in the gym almost every day and you could even say I'm addicted to the gym and the pump.

I have really only been into weight training for about three years. I'm only 23 years old and in great shape. My question is about pre workout drinks and protein.

Now I have heard so many different stories, I just want to get the facts. I take NOXExplode for my pre workout drink and the after my workout I take Muscletech Halo. When should I fit my protein in? Before, after? And is this other stuff really even doing anything to help me achieve my fitness goals?

I know your body needs the protein so I take it about twice a day. I'm not a big eater and I don't have much time, but when I do eat I eat healthy. So you know where I started and where I am at now (if it will help). At the beginning of my three years I was only 20 and weighing about 145 pounds.

My max on bench was 110, squat was 135, and dead lift was 135. Now I'm 165 max bench, 225 squat (bad Groin), and deadlift 310. I'm sort of afraid that I'm pumping my body with harmful things.

So what do you advise me in taking for pre-,  during,  and post- workouts? Also, what about throughout the day?

Thank you so much and I'm truly greatfull for you guys taking the time to answer my question.

Answered By:

Mike Behnken, MS, CSCS ANswers the Fitness Question

Qualifications of Mike Behnken


Always Remember:  Supplements are there to Supplement Diet

As you mentioned there are so many different stories out there about what is best for pre, post and during workouts as far as nutrition and supplements go.

The Reason for this is People Fail to look at the Body, Exercise Program and Especially nutrition as a Whole.  

These aspects of your health and fitness are as personal as anything about you and yet people try to lump everyone in a single category.

Having a website with thousands of visitors every day is difficult because what is written needs to be applicable for a majority of the readers which also may be a reason why there are so many different opinions and E-pinions out there about this subject.

Whether or not "this other stuff even doing anything for me?" depends on the rest of your diet and training. Do the supplements help?  Well you should probably look at is as whether or not they provide benefits that cheaper, natural foods couldn't and the answer is probably, not much. Only time will tell whether the supplements are harmful to your body or not as they are usually tested (if they're tested at all) for the short term.

One thing for sure is it has made your wallet a lot less lighter!

Your Current Supplement Regimen


NO XplodeThe NO-Xplode while it may seem great especially the first few times you use it is by no means a long-term solution. It is loaded with an extremely unnatural combination of random, unproven junk along with tons of stimulants.

While the boost it gives you is beneficial it by no means is necessary in anyone's program with the exception of maybe pro bodybuilders or athletes that indirectly get paid for their workouts.

Real food alternatives would be a cup of black coffee or green tea which would give you the caffeine you need but it's often the best bet to simply load up on a carbohydrate and B-vitamin rich food such as sweet potato or yam pre-workout.


Cytosport Cytomax Sports DrinkYou didn't mention what you drink during your workout but you asked about it. Replacing fluids & electrolytes during your workout is always going to be your number 1 priority.

As mentioned above, when considering a supplement and/or nutrition during your workout you have to look at your nutrition and exercise program as a whole. How long before your workout did you eat carbohydrate?  Did you ingest a caffeine loaded pre-workout supplement such as NO-Xplode that could cause your blood sugar to crash during workout?  How long after your workout do you plan to ingest your next calories after your workout?  What type of workout are you performing, high reps?  Low reps?  Circuit training?

If you are exercising on an empty stomach you may benefit from including a carbohydrate beverage along with electrolytes such as Gatorade or Cytomax


MuscleTech Halo

The Halo product you are taking is absolutely loaded with a bunch of stuff which is probably overkill on your wallet as well as your body.

During the time directly after your workout your body is going to be very receptive to any food you ingest. This is why a high carbohydrate, low protein (4:1 ratio), minimal fat liquid is usually recommended.

As mentioned throughout this page, it should be obviously to you now that if you drank 40 grams of carbs during your workout, the need for post-workout carbs is going to decrease. Likewise, if you had a 64oz steak close to your workout time, protein will be less of a need in this period.

Real food alternatives to post workout supplements are easy to digest carbs such as simple sugars in grape juice, cool-aid but remember most fruit juices with fructose are not optimal for this time frame because they take excess time to assimilate. A small amount of protein such as non-fat chocolate milk would do the trick.

In Summary

What you ingest before, after and during your workouts depends on everything you have eaten up to that point and what you will eat after. It truly is all about timing as life is constantly changing. You really just have to experiment and find the timing and which combination of food and supplements works best for you.

Supplements other than macronutrient replacements such as plain whey protein powder and multivitamins are really the only supplements you will use for the long term.

Most other supplements you take are likely going right through your body and down the toilet. You are not alone, most beginners and I say beginners as people who workout routinely for less than 5 years spend a lot of money on supplements and almost all of them discontinue them at one point and wonder what toys they could have bought with all the money they would have saved.

If you check out the supplement reviews on this site you will only see a dozen or so supplements as most of these are the supplements which can really benefit for the long term. The exceptions will have disclaimers explaining usage for very specific goals.   This is on purpose because out of thousands of supplements out there, there truly are only a handful of ones you should be putting in your body.

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