I'm constantly self-experimenting and learning, both in the gym and the kitchen. My personal training clients provide answers (and questions), everyone I workout with (CrossFit and other gyms) does too, but most of all I learn from changing up protocols for myself.
The last few months I've been jacking up my pre-and-intra workout supplements. I've trransitioned from years of working out on basically an empty stomach with merely coffee and some pre-workout powder, to utilizing more easily-digestible supplements. In my experience, I'm stronger and maintain energy and muscular endurance far better than I used to, when my Blender Bottle always contains nutrients.
If I'm in the gym, I've protein and amino acids and creatine and a bit of carbs all swirling in my Blender Bottle
Lately I've taken it up a notch, remembering that the hours surrounding a workout isn't the time to diet. As I'm driving to the gym I'm nearly always sipping coffee. My Blender Bottle, already prepared, contains a scoop of creatine (virtually doesn't matter the brand), BCAA (I use several brands), pre-workout Force (Progenex, containing a bit more creatine and BCAA), one scoop of Recovery and sometimes a half scoop of Build. Over the course of an hour I'll add water to the shaker, but no product.
If my workout stretches into two hours, like it did yesterday at CrossFit, I'm prepared. I added another serving of Force (no jitters or heart palpitations, don't worry), another scoop of Recovery and a full scoop of Build. Hammered through the second hour with good energy and muscular strength. Even got a pump!
Leaving the gym, within 15-20 minutes of the workouts ending I was sipping another shake, containing more creatine, two scoops of Build, two scoops of Recovery, and a small scoop of BCAA powder.
Why skimp on nutrition at this critical time? It makes no sense. Your workout represents two or three hours of your day. Maximize your results, give your body the fuel it deserves and craves. You'll recover and respond with a bit more lean tissue, a little more fitness, and because of the addition of quality nutrients at the right time, less body fat! Win win all around.