A pre-workout breakfast should be energizing, convenient, and not overly filling. However, finding a meal that ticks all the boxes is never easy. If you’re an early bird, you need an early morning pre-workout food that gives you the energy to tackle your early session.
It should not take long to prepare and should consider the fact that your appetite might be low at that particular time. So, how do you go about finding the best early morning workout food? Read on to find out.
The first thing to look for is carbs, which deliver a quick hit of fuel and a boost to your glycogen stores. Carbohydrates allow your muscles to have enough fuel during a workout. Therefore, you need fruit or some grains.
The next food to consider is a modest amount of protein. It could be an egg, yogurt, milk, or some deli slices. This is usually good if you’re going to exhaust your muscles with weight training. Additionally, you should avoid eating too much protein before a workout, as well as high amounts of fiber or fat.
These foods can slow down digestion. They can also cause nausea or stomach upset. If you’re time-constrained and have only a shorter period to digest between waking up and working out, you should always opt for a smaller option than usual.
However, if you’ve got more appetite and enough time to digest, then some experts suggest taking something a little more substantial. For instance, you can include protein, fiber, and fat.
If your body is not properly fueled before a workout, it will likely be more sluggish. Besides, it will fatigue much more quickly, which means you’ll not be able to work out as fast as you need to or for as long as you should.
According to workout experts, the body needs glucose for energy. You get it from the carbohydrates that you eat before you begin the exercise. If you work out in a fasting state, you deprive your muscles of glucose, which can lead to weakness, dizziness, or lightheadedness during exercise. Additionally, you need to be well hydrated.
So, what exactly should be your early morning workout food? According to experts in workout nutrition, what you eat before a morning workout depends on the type of workout, your weight, and the time you have for eating before the exercise. For instance, if you have an hour before your workout, you should focus on easily digestible carbs and avoid slow digestion foods.
Most sports nutritionists, trainers, and dieticians break it down into grams of carbohydrate, based on the duration between your eating and workout. If you’re going for strength or resistance training, the best time to eat is an hour before the exercise.
Within this period, you should consume at least 30-40 grams of carbohydrate and 20-30 grams of protein. On the other hand, if you’re going for cardiovascular or endurance training, the timing could be more flexible. All the same, you should always focus on when you eat.
At Next Level Fitness, we emphasize a healthy, well-balanced diet to help deliver the calories and nutrients you need to reach your training goals. If you get the right food to eat before an early morning workout, your body gets the fuel it needs.
The internet contains endless advice on nutrition and diet, which makes it difficult for consumers to determine what actually works. Next Level Fitness has qualified trainers to set you on the right track with a balanced diet and early morning workout foods that help you accomplish your workout goals.
Giving your body the right early morning workout food can help deliver the right nutrients before the exercise to give you the energy and strength your body needs to perform optimally. Each macronutrient bears a specific role before a workout. Even so, the ratio in which you should consume the nutrients varies based on the type of exercise and the individual.
Here is a brief role of each macronutrient:
Carbs deliver glucose, which your muscles use as fuel during a workout. The body processes and stores glucose as glycogen and makes it available in the liver and muscles. For short-term, high-intensity workouts, your glycogen stores are the muscles’ main source of energy.
However, when it comes to longer exercises, the body’s natural stores of glycogen can get depleted based on the intensity, type of workout, and overall diet. The muscles glycogen stores are limited and once they’re depleted, your output and intensity decrease.
According to studies, eating carbs can boost glycogen stores and utilization while increasing carb oxidation during workouts. Eating a high-carb diet for 1-7 days can help boost glycogen stores.
According to some studies, pre-workout protein consumption could boost athletic performance. Besides, eating protein (alone or with carbs) before an exercise could help increase muscle protein synthesis. Protein intake also delivers the following benefits:
While glycogen provides fuel for short- and high-intensity workouts, fat is the main source of fuel for moderate and low-intensity workouts. According to some studies, fat intake has an impact on athletic performance. However, these studies focused on high-fat diets instead of prior to workouts.
Overall, the timing of your early morning pre-workout food is the most important thing to observe. To get the best results from your training, your early morning workout meal should be complete with carbs, protein, and fat, at least 2-3 hours before the exercise.
However, if you’re unable to find a full meal 2-3 hours before a workout, you can still eat a decent pre-workout meal. The rule of thumb is to always keep it smaller and simpler if you have a shorter time before the exercise. For example, 45-60 minutes before a workout, you should choose simple foods that are easy to digest and focus mainly on carbs and protein.
Contact us for more advice on how to find the right food to eat before an early morning workout.