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What should you eat before a morning workout?


Morning training is considered a nutritionally problematic time for many people. The reason is overnight sleep does not prepare us with full energy stores in the muscles (glycogen), and lack of appetite in the morning makes it difficult to eat before the workout. Though many people report they struggle to eat in the morning before training, it is important for them to avoid exercising on an empty stomach.

What to do? You should not eat a full bowl of pasta or a giant sandwich (say with eggs/tuna) in the morning to prepare for a workout! Breakfast should not cause a heavy or bloated feeling in the stomach before activity. The goal is to eat fast-digesting carbohydrates.

Good breakfast examples: • A slice of bread (can be white) with honey / jam • Energy bar • A handful of cereal (even without milk) • 2-3 pieces dried fruit (e.g. dates) • 2-3 dry biscuits (not high fat!) • Pretzel without salt (half cup) • Fresh fruit (banana, apple)

If you don't exercise at home and travel to the training location (e.g. gym, track, pool, trail), you should plan to eat before you leave for your morning workout in two stages:

1) At home, before leaving - Drink a hot or cold beverage, have a sandwich with jam or honey, or cereal or oatmeal (constituted with water or cow/soy milk). Even yogurt with fruit can be a good option if you like. 2) In route to your workout - Eat fresh fruit, energy bar, dried fruit or half sandwich with honey or jam (for strenuous muscle building or long training). Splitting eating into two phases can ease and improve digestion, and help you begin your training with more strength (without feeling heavy or bloated in the stomach). The amount eaten at each stage should correspond to the training load, length and types of easily digestible foods.

It may be really hard to eat before the morning workout, but it is important to provide some carbohydrate availability. Try to incorporate fruit juice that will awaken the body. The important thing is not to start exercising on an empty stomach.

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Yael Dror

© 2016 by Yael Dror

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