Sample Meal Plan for Powerlifting


What Should I eat?

Depending on what your goal is in Powerlifting, your diet can be very different. One goal can be lifting as much as possible disregarding your weight, or lifting as much weight in a lower weight class. For this sample I will be working towards as much weight as possible, so this would be moving up in weight class.

Nutrition for any athlete is important. As a power lifter, certain nutrients need to be changed from the general recommendations to be more successful in the sport. Carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are very important nutrients to manage as an athlete. Proteins are needed to build and repair muscle. Fat is needed for hormone production and energy. Carbohydrates are important with providing our bodies with energy.

When gaining weight and going up in weight class, it is important to be in a caloric surplus. I have found a few recommendations on nutritional intake. Total calories per day should be 16-18 calories per pound of body weight. Protein should be 1-1.5 grams per pound of body weight. Fat should be 20-25% of total calorie intake. Carbohydrates should be around 2-3 carbohydrates per pound of body weight.

You should have a pre-workout meal and a post-workout meal. Aside from those to set meals it does not really matter when you consume your calories and and other macro nutrients as long as you hit those numbers. Consume an adequate amount of carbs before each workout. It can also be helpful to consume 20-30g of protein in the same meal as well. It can also be beneficial to consume carbs from sport beverages as well during your workout to stay energized and hydrated. After each workout, you should consume 20-30g of protein within 1-1:30 min of the workout.

Although consuming nutrients through natural sources is ideal, supplements can be used to help achieve numbers and improve performance. A couple supplements that can improve your performance in powerlifting are Protein, Creatine, and caffeine.


What Supplements Should I take?

Protein – protein is important in everybody’s daily diet. It provides the amino acids that our muscles need to continually rebuild themselves. It can be consume before and after a workout. Although it can be achieved from natural sources, supplementation makes it easier to achieve the adequate amount for growth. Some sources say that only 20-30g of protein can be absorbed at one time.

Caffeine – Caffeine reliably increase performance and alertness for those who have not developed a tolerance. It can assist in fat loss, endurance, and peak power output. It is most effective before a workout as it gives you more energy. It is recommended to take 2.5mg/lb. More may need be consumed as you will start to develop a tolerance.

Creatine- Creatine basically generates ATP more quickly resulting in more reps per workout. It leads to increased power output and work capacity. 5g daily is sufficient and there is no need to cycle on and off. you can take creatine whenever as it builds up in your system over time.



For breakfast I recommended eggs as it is a good source of protein. Chicken for lunch and dinner as it is leaner than beef. This protein can be interchangeable for other meats if wanted. Vegetables are always important for fiber along with rice for carbs. Snacks can be input anywhere throughout the day. This plan is intended for the athlete to workout between lunch and dinner. Supplements such as caffeine and creatine is not included but would ideally be consumed before the workout.



Caffeine and Weight Loss


Caffeine has become very popular in our culture. It it most widely consumed through coffee and energy drinks/ supplements. Most will primarily use it for energy but many will not realize that there can be weight losing properties that come with consuming caffeine.


Caffeine can aid in weight loss by suppressing appetite, and calorie burning. Caffeine can reduce the feelings of hunger and the craving to eat for a period of time. Caffeine increases your heart rate and energy use at rest. It stimulates thermogenesis which is one of the ways your body generates heat and energy from digested food.


Proven Results

Supplements or beverages containing caffeine are always paired with something else. Although it is not the only supplement, supplements and beverages containing it has proven to aid in weight loss. It is also proven Caffeine can increase alertness and energy levels. It makes you feel more awake and less tired. It is a relatively safe dietary supplement. It is typically safe to consume daily but the Mayo Clinic states that consuming more than 500-600 mg of caffeine in one day may lead to some side affects such as insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, increased heart rate, and muscle tremors.

Who Should Use It?

Everyone is able to use it. If you are not caffeine sensitive and consume a moderate amount, you should be able to get the benefits. Any age and gender can benefit from caffeine. Although high amounts of caffeine is not recommended for anyone under the age of 18. Athletes can benefit from caffeine before a workout as it raises energy levels which can lead to a better workout.

Recommended Dosages

The Mayo Clinic states that 400 milligrams of caffeine a day is a safe amount for a healthy adult. This is about 4 cups of coffee, 10 cans of soda, or 2 energy drinks. It is still not recommend for children or anyone with a heart condition. Dosages are the same for males and females.


There is no specific timing when taking caffeine. If you want to take caffeine before a workout, there has been some studies shown taking caffeine about 45 minutes before the actual workout can yield positive results in energy levels. Caffeine can be taken any time of the day to help increase energy levels but it is not recommended before sleeping as it can lead to insomnia.


Side Effects

If you are caffeine sensitive or take more than the recommended amount it can lead to insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, increased heart rate, and muscle tremors. There have even been some reports of caffeine reducing bone mass. This is due to some cases of caffeine preventing the body from absorbing calcium. When caffeine is in your system, calcium is more readily excreted.

Caffeine was not prohibited in the Olympics a while ago but has been legalized for competition in recent years.Caffeine is not banned at any level of competition.


Creatine and Weightlifting


What is Creatine?

Creatine is a natural substance that is naturally produced in the body primarily stored in skeletal muscle. Creatine essentially gives you more energy as you exercise through a more rapid production of adenosine triphosphate or ATP.

How it is used?

Creatine as a supplement is primarily taken orally in powder form. Although creatine is naturally produced in our bodies, it is recommended to take 5-10 grams a day if you want to supplement it.

When to use it

Creatine is thought to improve strength and increase lean muscle mass. Although the strength increases are not super significant, the idea is that working past your threshold for a long period of time accelerates progress and gains. Creatine is most effective for short and explosive exercises that utilize the phosphogen energy system. The phosphogen system is an anaerobic and our immediate source of energy.  It is the primary source of ATP for short, high intensity activities.

›ATP à ADP + Pi

›CP + ADP à ATP + Creatine

›ATP/CP stored in limited amountsPicture1

Because of the effectiveness of creatine on short high intensity activities, it is commonly used by weightlifters. It is not as beneficial for athletes such as long distance runner because of the energy systems used. As seen in the image below, we have three energy systems of which our bodies use. Creatine is most effective in the first category where the activity lasts 0-10 seconds.



What are the risks?

As of right now there are no evidence of risks with supplementing creatine. Although it is believed that excessive use of creatine my cause kidney damage.

Question for the readers!

Knowing that there are proven benefits and little to no risks, would you consider taking creatine? What do you use it for?


Hintz, H. (n.d.). Creatine. Retrieved November 2, 2005, from

›Salvador, L. M., Ariza, M. P., Muñoz, A. P., & Guerrero, A. E. (2015). Study on risk creatine and dehydration in athletes training in a gym. Nutricion Hospitalaria, 32(S2), 40. doi:10.3305/nh.2015.32.sup2.10321

›Ehrlich, S. D. (2014, June 26). Creatine. Retrieved November 22, 2016, from