3 Critical Times for Bodybuilders to Juice

By Vince Del Monte, WBFF Pro Fitness Model, Certified Fitness Trainer and Nutritionist and author of No Nonsense Muscle Building.

As you have been reading all of my recent posts on how awesome juicing is for bodybuilders, many of you are probably thinking that it sounds like a big undertaking. You already have a lot going on in your bodybuilding programs; your lifting protocols, any cardio training programs, tracking your growth and gains, your nutrition and everything else. This is on top of work, school, your marriage or relationship and all the other things going on in your life. So adding one more thing may sound like it’s one thing too much.

However, I have to stress two things to you: juicing is by far one of the most important things you can do to further your muscle-building goals AND it literally takes only minutes to do. Not only that, but you can start off slowly and gradually add to your juicing routine as you get comfortable with it, get used to the recipes, learn which juices will most benefit you and get super-motivated by the results.

You can juice any time of the day that you want to, though you need to steer clear of drinking a fruit juice at night unless you work out at night and are getting ready to hit the gym. However, the three most important times to juice is first thing in the morning, pre-workout and post-workout. So, while you can certainly start right off the bat with juicing all three times per day, if you need to start more slowly, you can choose one time to juice and then gradually add the other two.

I’m going to talk to you a little bit about all three key juicing times so that you know why they’re important, how juicing will benefit you at these times and which foods you want to juice for each instance.

Juicing First Thing in the Morning

If you’re going to start out just juicing once per day, this is the time to do it. I cannot stress enough how valuable a super-nutritious juice can be to you as soon as you wake up. Your body has been without carbs for many hours and is ready ??????????to be replenished. You need an energy boost that’s better for you than coffee (or something awful for you like a Red Bull) and juicing first thing in the morning ensures that you get a huge hit of fresh vegetables and fruits into your body no matter what might happen later on in the day.

I know guys who have stopped drinking coffee or tea completely because they get such a huge energy rush from juicing first thing in the morning. I really enjoy my morning coffee, but it’s a pleasure more than a need because my morning juice really kicks my butt into gear.

As far as what to drink for your first morning juice, I like to stick with a greens drink. I have several recipes for different greens drinks and I tend to rotate them, but I also have mornings when I just throw in what’s on hand. First thing in the morning is also a good time to throw an apple, pear or some berries into your greens drink because you’re going to burn up those carbs pretty quickly and they will help to get your motor running fast.

Remember, juice is a supplement to your diet, not a meal replacement. Drink the juice and then have your first meal of the day with a healthy supply of protein and fats. Whether you are doing the meat and nuts breakfast or a protein shake or scrambled eggs, you still need to get a high-protein breakfast in. Do not think juicing is a substitute for breakfast. These juices contain very few calories, no fat and only a trace of protein so they are not going to sustain you until lunch. They may not even sustain you all the way to work or school. And often times they rev up your metabolism so quickly that you’ll be famished within an hour. The bottom line is that you start your breakfast with an early morning juice, not replace it.

Juicing Pre-Workout

iStock_000021921716XSmallJuicing just before a workout is a great way to fuel your body with the carbs necessary to make it through your routine. It is also a great way to load up on the various micronutrients that will help prevent oxidative stress, prevent muscle cramps, support muscle recovery and open up your circulatory system so that plenty of oxygen is being delivered to your muscles.

Again, this juice is not a replacement for anything. You still need to get some protein before your workout, but juicing can help you to get maximum nutrition in minimal time, which is great if you’re running to the gym on your lunch hour, in between meetings or between classes. It’s easy to choose working out over a nutrient-dense meal when you are determined to make it to the gym on a tight schedule. With juicing, you can make a glass of juice in just seconds or even make it in the morning and take it to work or school in an insulated container. Then just add a piece of chicken, a handful of cold shrimp, a protein shake, some nuts and seeds or any other good sources of protein and fat and eat a nutrition-packed meal before you hit the gym.

Most juices will keep for several hours as long as you keep them cool, although some tend to separate or get filmy, so pay attention to the recipes and note which ones keep fairly well before making them ahead of time to take to work or school.

Juicing Post-Workout

Post WorkoutAs a very general rule of thumb, you want to get protein and fats pre-workout and mostly carbs and protein post-workout. You need those carbs to replenish those that were burned as fuel during training.

A lot of guys make the mistake of thinking that because they need to replenish their carb stores they have a license to load up on pasta, breads, cereals and other “fun” carbs. But this is a huge error in judgment. Your post workout carbs should be based on your level of leanness, type of activity and length of activity.  For instance, you’ll need to put more carbs back into your body after a 2-hour bike ride versus a 20-minute bodyweight workout. If you’re a male over 15% bodyfat it is not necessary to consume any more than 30 grams of carbs after your workout (because you already have plenty of stored fat on your body) and you can get that from approximately six cups of vegetables blended or juiced.  If you’re a male under 15% bodyfat than you can afford to take in anywhere from 50-150 grams of carbs post workout and if you’re a male under 10% bodyfat you could take in anywhere from 150-300 grams of carbs post workout. In short, whatever your post-workout carb intake prescribes, you can get a good portion of those carbs from a juice. By juicing right after your workout, you are getting some of the carbs your muscles need. I would also recommend you combine your juice with high-glycemic carbs such as a carb powder or some form of cranberry, raspberry or blackberry juice, too to drive your insulin levels up to help the glucose make it’s way into the muscles instead of fat stores.

The other important thing about juicing post-workout is that you will be getting many of the antioxidants and phytonutrients that combat the oxidative stress caused by your workout. It will also reduce or prevent inflammation, decrease cortisol levels, increase testosterone levels and speed muscle recovery. And, get ready to watch your recovery shoot through the roof.

I’ve said several times in the last few weeks that juicing is the single most important thing I have done nutritionally in the last ten years. I can’t encourage you enough to get started juicing yourself. The impact on your overall health, energy level, mental focus and muscle gains can’t be exaggerated.

Start with just one of these times for juicing (but if you’re doing only one, remember to make it first thing in the morning) or jump right in with all three, but get started as soon as possible. You can check here on the blog for some great juicing recipes to get started or you can order my brand new juicing guide, Get Juiced: 101-Muscle Charging Juicing Recipes for the tastiest and most awesome juicing recipes.

Within just a couple of weeks, you will be thinking it’s the most important nutritional move you have made to your daily routine.

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Comments

2 thoughts on “3 Critical Times for Bodybuilders to Juice

  1. I want to get some tips on nutrition and juices before and after a bodybuilding workout

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  2. Well I started body building 8 days before. I go to gym between 7 to 9 at night time.
    can you please tell me when I should use juices and which juice?
    and someone asked me to use only the white part of egg. and 3 to 4 eggs daily..
    when I should use eggs..
    and What is should eat or drink after exercise…

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