What to eat before your morning gym session to maximize your workout

Although not everyone is a “morning person,” early mornings are a great time to exercise and can offer many valuable benefits.

But for some people, knowing what to eat beforehand (or whether to eat at all) can be a little confusing.

Here, ex-Marine turned personal trainer Patrick Dale, of Fitness was He’s revealed a handy guide on what to eat to fuel your morning workouts and boost your early morning energy.

Read more: Why a plant-rich diet is better for you and the planet

morning workout
Early morning is a great time to exercise and can offer many valuable benefits. (iStock)


When do you eat? carbohydrates, is broken down into glucose which serves as a direct source of energy, and any excess is converted and then stored as glycogen. Since glucose and glycogen are essential for fueling you through exercise, carbohydrates should be the cornerstone of your early morning pre-workout meal.

Since there won’t be much time between getting up and starting your workout, you need fast-acting, easy-to-digest carbohydrates. This means that you should choose foods with a medium to high ranking on the glycemic index chart. The glycemic index graph ranks carbohydrates from 1-100, with 100 being the most effective. Medium to high carbs are easily digested and quickly raise blood glucose.

Examples of moderate to high GI foods include:

  • dates
  • Breakfast Cereal
  • White bread
  • Ripe banana
  • White rice
What should you eat in the morning if you work out? (Getty Images/iStockphoto)


While you can only eat carbs before training, some research suggests combining carbs protein It will have a better effect. Consuming carbohydrates with protein provides energy and can also help prevent muscle breakdown.

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Avoid fatty foods

Fat is the most important stomach suppressant, as it keeps food in your stomach longer and delays digestion. As such, your early morning pre-workout meal should be very low in fat, not even containing healthy fats like olive oil, flaxseed oil, or coconut oil. Also avoid natural sources of fat, such as nuts and whole eggs.

Low-fiber foods

the basic It is part of most foods that contain carbohydrates. However, while fiber is very good for you, as is fat, it is also a major stomach stimulant and is best avoided in your early morning workout meals. Instead, look for foods that are refined and naturally lower in fiber, such as white bread over whole-grain bread.

A woman blends spinach, blueberries, banana and almond milk to make a healthy green smoothie
A fruit smoothie made with soft fruit, low-fat yogurt, and protein powder is a great option. (Luna Vandoorne – stock.adobe.com)

What are some pre-workout morning meals and snacks?

Armed with the information above, you should have no problem choosing your early morning workout meals and snacks. However, here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Mashed ripe banana on toast with a little honey
  • Cereal and low fat milk
  • Fruit smoothie made with soft fruit, low-fat yogurt, and protein powder
  • A carbohydrate/protein energy bar or granola bar
  • Scrambled egg whites and rice crackers
  • Instant oatmeal and berries
  • Sliced ​​bagel and turkey
  • Toasted English muffin with low fat cream cheese

Ultimately, as long as your meal contains a moderate to high carbohydrate and protein source, it will provide your body with what it needs for energy through work outEven if those foods aren’t traditional breakfast foods.

Read more: How often should you change your exercise routine?

Ideally, you should eat 30-60 minutes before you start training. (Drop Dean – stock.adobe.com)

How long before a workout should you eat?

Ideally, you should consume your training meal early in the morning 30-60 minutes before you start training, as this will give the food enough time to start digesting. Make sure you save time by planning and preparing your morning workout meal the night before your workout.

Also, liquids digest more quickly than solid foods, so if you plan to train soon after waking up, it may be best to drink rather than eat your meal before you work out.

Pro tip: Make sure what you eat the night before is also your pre-workout meal

Even a great early morning workout meal won’t make up for not eating right the night before. Eating a whole food meal a few hours before bed will help promote muscle recovery and growth and ensure you wake up with good levels of muscle glycogen. An early morning pre-workout snack should boost your already high glycogen and glucose levels.

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