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Episode 12: Pre-Workout Nutrition, Testing for Low Stomach Acid, and the Truth About Spiked Seltzer

podcast Apr 24, 2020

In this episode, Rachel talks about how to test for low stomach acid and why it’s important for proper digestion, setting up your pre-workout nutrition, and how alcohol fits into a ‘healthy’ lifestyle.

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"Carbs are not essential. But if the goal is to optimize performance and become as metabolically flexible as possible, utilizing carbs strategically is definitely beneficial...especially when it comes to performance-based goals." Rachel Gregory

Episode Top Takeaways:

  • You can test for low stomach acid at home using the Baking Soda Test and the HCL Challenge Test detailed in this episode.
  • Your pre-workout meal/snack/supplement will depend on your specific goals, the type, and length of your workout, as well as other factors.
  • Carbs are not essential, but they can be helpful, especially when talking about metabolic flexibility. If you are eating carbs to fuel a workout, aim for an 80/20 ratio of starch to fruit.
  • Alcohol is a toxin; your body will pause other processes to get it out of you as fast as possible. Know your goals when it comes to consuming alcohol.

Show Notes:

  • [2:30] The importance of high-quality protein
  • [3:00] Protein is QUEEN! blog post
  • [3:30] How do we know if we have the proper amount of stomach acid to digest proteins?
  • [4:00] Stomach acid production can be inhibited by different factors
  • [5:00] Signs and symptoms associated with low stomach acid level
  • [6:00] Lab tests to determine stomach acid levels
  • [6:45] At home testing!
  • [7:50] Supplement: Betaine HCl with Pepsin
  • [8:09] Preventing false negatives
  • [10:00] The HCL challenge test, for if you failed the baking soda test
  • [14:00] Don’t eat in a stressed state! Sympathetic vs. Parasympathetic
  • [15:00] Chew your food!!
  • [16:30] How to help with Acid Reflux
  • [17:00] Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) take 1 to 2 tablespoons with water, before trying supplements. With Water!
  • [20:00] Best food type to fuel a workout
  • [21:00] Look at your goals first… your goals will change the fuel needs for exercise
  • [23:00] Something that worked a year ago, might not work today. Keep evolving
  • [23:30] When searching for best fuel; look to what you’re currently eating first
  • [24:00] Another important question to ask, what type of workout are you doing?
  • [25:00] Another overlooked question… What is your pre-workout fuel goal? 
  • [27:30] Water and Electrolytes before exercise!!
  • [28:30] Fats: Stick with fast-digesting/faster absorbing fats like MCT oil/powder, coconut oil, butter
  • [29:00] Just before exercise - fast-digesting Protein: high-quality whey protein source, EAAs, collagen powder, protein bar
  • [30:00] 1+ hours before - slow-digesting Protein: non-fat plain yogurt or cottage cheese, eggs, lean meats
  • [32:00] METFLEX Life Course
  • [32:30] Carbs: Not essential, but if you are eating carbs for workouts aim for 80/20 Starch/Fruit
  • [35:30] UCAN SuperStarch, Cluster Dextrin, and other alternate carb sources
  • [36:30] The Carb Swish
  • [38:30] Cocktails and Keto
  • [39:00] Hard Seltzer nutrition info
  • [40:30] Alcohol itself is a toxin, which means it is NOT healthy


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Rachel Gregory (@rachelgregory.cns) is a Board-Certified Nutrition Specialist, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Author of the best-selling book, 21-Day Ketogenic Diet Weight Loss Challenge. She received her Master’s Degree in Nutrition & Exercise Physiology from James Madison University and Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Medicine from the University of Miami.

Rachel helps her clients transform their lives by starting with the physical (body), realizing the power of the mental (mindset), and ultimately gaining massive confidence that bleeds into every aspect of their lives (family, relationships, work, etc.).


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