What to Eat Before a Morning Workout

vitals.lifehacker.com
4 min read
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Exercising first thing in the morning has a ton of advantages: it wakes you up, sets you up with a success before you've fully started your day, and ensures you won't forget to work out later. But then there is the problem of breakfast.
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Do you have to eat breakfast before a workout?

No, but it helps. Some people find fasted workouts to be harder than ones where they've eaten beforehand. Though this depends on the person, the workout, and, to some degree, whether you've gotten used to exercising on an empty stomach.

For an easy workout, like a light jog or a short lifting session, you may not notice a difference between training with and without breakfast. In that case, do whatever you prefer. But expect breakfast to help for:

High intensity cardio or conditioning work, like fast running or true high intensity interval training.

Long workouts, especially those lasting more than 90 minutes.

Any workout after which you tend to feel unusually tired, which may include heavy strength training.

If you have enough time in the morning, you can wake up, eat a normal breakfast, then get around to training an hour or so later. This routine works for a lot of people, but some of us try to hit the road or the gym as soon as possible after waking up. In that case, your choice of food matters more.

What is the best thing to eat?

Carbs provide quick energy, especially if you eat them in a form that your body can process quickly. This mainly includes sugar and starches, which digest most quickly when they are not combined with much fat, protein, or fiber.

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In other words, this is different from what would normally look like a healthy meal. You'll have time after your workout for something that digests a little slower. But if you have to eat immediately before a workout, go with something…
Beth Skwarecki
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