Lee Labrada teamed up with his son Hunter Labrada to discuss the intricacies of pre-workout nutrition. In a recent YouTube video, Lee and Hunter revealed their typical pre-workout meals and offered their best tips for making the most out of each training session.
As a prolific bodybuilder in the 1970s and 1980s, Lee Labrada’s legacy was defined by meticulous training and preparation. Known for complex posing routines and a one-of-a-kind shredded physique, Labrada set himself apart from other talents in the IFBB Pro League Men’s Open class.
Running with his father’s torch, Hunter Labrada decided to test his limits as a bodybuilder. He has placed as high as fourth at the prestigious Mr. Olympia (2021) though just last month, finished sixth on the big stage, the same event that saw Derek Lunsford emerge as the first two-division champion.
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Instead of arguing about the existence of the ‘anabolic window,’ Lee and Hunter took to their latest video to offer guidance on pre-workout nutrition. They also shared actionable tips for maximizing the intensity of a given workout with food.
Lee Labrada and Hunter Labrada Compare Pre-Workout Meals and Offer Their Best Tips
You can find Lee Labrada’s typical pre-workout meal below:
Lee Labrada’s Pre-Workout Meal
- 6 oz 99/1 Ground Turkey (39 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fat)
- 150 grams Jasmine Rice (4 grams of protein, 43 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat)
- 50 grams of Black Beans (11 grams of protein, 31 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat)
- 2 Mango Slices (1 gram of protein, 20 grams of carbs, 0 grams of fat)
“This is a typical meal for me throughout the day. I’ll have this meal approximately an hour before a workout. Yeah I would say this is about six ounces of turkey breast. Then, what I’ll have for dessert, I’ll have something like these mango slices for a little bit of extra carbohydrate.
It just makes it a great meal, more than enough protein in it. It’s got enough carbohydrates in it for me to get started with my workout. I’ve got a beet salad here that I’ll have with the meal. I’m a big believer in getting natural vegetables and salads throughout the day and getting enough fiber. I think that it’s good for gut health.”
Hunter Labrada’s Pre-Workout Meal
Hunter Labrada starts with his go-to condiments.
“Like I said, it’s pretty similar to what he has, just amounts are applicable for me. I do travel a little heavier with my condiments and niceties.”
- Green Onion Sauce
- Flavor Gang Sauce
- Japanese Soy Sauce
- Sesame Seed
- Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Truffle Salt
Hunter emphasized that sodium is essential for training, specifying that he would add at least 500 milligrams of salt to every pre-workout meal.
“Sodium is very important. Sodium is not the devil. Sodium is critical for muscle contractions and getting pumps.
Even if you’re watching your sodium, I highly recommend putting at least 500 milligrams on your pre-meal. I personally have two grams of salt on my pre-meal.”
Find Hunter’s pre-workout meal below:
- 120 grams of Chicken (37 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 4 grams of fat)
- 80 grams of Beef (17 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fat)
- 300 grams of Jasmine Rice (7 grams of protein, 86 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fat)
- 10 grams of Ghee Butter (0 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, 10 grams of fat)
Hunter Labrada explained some of the benefits of consuming ghee butter regularly:
“I’m a big fan of ghee for a couple of reasons. One, it’s got an antimicrobial effect in the gut. Two, it’s a very healthy fat, and three, it gives your food a lot of flavor.”
“This being the pre-workout meal, I think the biggest thing to talk about is which foods should you be eating or should you not be eating pre-workout and how far in advance should you be eating. We’re going to train legs after we eat this pre-meal,” said Hunter Labrada.
In the past, Hunter Labrada admitted he struggled with holding food down during intense workouts.
“Going back to earlier in my training days, I use to obviously, in an off-season setting, I was slamming a shit-ton of food, and I just eat all the food and just drive right to the gym and train legs. I’d probably throw up like 60 or 70% of my leg workout. For the longest time, he’d be like eat your food an hour and a half or two hours before you train.”
“I typically do not eat anything that is dairy-based prior to a workout because I have a tendency to revisit it if that is the case. Obviously, no milk. If you guys have been lifting for football in high school you’ve probably discovered that already. No milk or eggs or those kinds of things prior to the workout. Keep it simple,” said Lee Labrada.
When consuming ‘heavier’ meals, Lee prefers to take digestive enzymes. He also revealed he eats every three hours and all meals must include 30-40 grams of ‘quality’ protein.
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“I still use digestive enzymes for the heavier meals. I think that’s very important. I still construct all of the meals starting with the protein first.
We eat every three hours, but every single meal has 30-40 grams of high-quality protein.”
Lee mentioned that he always builds his meals around the protein source, adding complex carbs, essential fats, and vegetables for fiber.
“Once you have that protein on your plate, then you add some complex carbohydrates and a little bit of essential fats. Good fats we call them if you want.
Put a salad on there, some vegetables for the fiber, and the micronutrients and phytonutrients, you build it from the protein up.”
Nutrition and dieting have become top priorities for Hunter Labrada, who continues to show immense promise as an Open talent. In 2022, he primarily relied on a liquid diet; however, he has since implemented significant changes to his approach. Not only has he focused on eating more whole foods, but Labrada has made it his mission to maintain a healthy gut microbiome.
Whenever Hunter and Lee dive into a chat about bodybuilding, you can bet it’s going to be an eye-opening exchange. They both swear by the significance of pre-workout meals and according to these two, the golden rule is to consume something protein-packed an hour or two before hitting the gym.