According to that which you have read or heard, you might buy into the notion of consuming a meal somewhere within 30 and 90 mins before training for the absolute best results (mostly meaning maximizing muscle protein synthesis, building and preserving lean mass, and building strength).
While there is nothing wrong with your guidelines, they may be useful but they’re not printed in stone, and that is primarily due to rates of digestion.
A meal like this is certainly a mixed one which contains protein, carbohydrate and fat, with respect to the meal’s size, it might take anywhere from a few hours to as much as six hrs to digest fully. Most times that this varies greatly is when you consider liquid meals, which could digest more quickly if they are small enough.
If you drink some juice and have a protein shake, the rate of digestion could be a little faster if you consume really small amounts (just a few hundred calories), but nothing at all to be alarmed about so long as you’re getting a balanced nutrition each day.
Where a pre-workout meal is most effective is actually for those who train at the beginning of the morning after at least 8 hrs of sleep and no eating. Even a little meal of protein and carbs (200 calories or less) can work as a means of elevating protein synthesis, that may be a consequence of the time scale of no food ahead of training.
And since digestion can take all the way as much as 6 hours for normal-sized mixed meals, your breakfast may as well act as both a pre- and post-workout meal due to how long it’d take to make sure you could digest the whole meal.
Here is the instance of where a meal plan which consists of 3-5 meals spread out in the afternoon makes lots of sense for people wanting to maintain and build up muscle as there may be overlap in the digestion rates each and every meal.
This will be the longest you will go without food, assuming you’re eating breakfast, and dinner several hours ahead of bed, this period of time is when you spend when sleeping.
So, any meal you have may potentially serve as your pre-workout meal. Many individuals may have a propensity to train mid-morning or mid-afternoon. After which their breakfast or lunch will serve as their pre-workout meal if that is the situation.