What does the Early Bird eat before a sweat session?
Ever wonder what to eat before an early morning workout and WHY eat before that, because you know you'll have breakfast afterwards.
Well today, I'm diving into why eating before hand is beneficial and giving you suggestions on WHAT to eat!
I know not everyone loves breakfast as much as I do. I know you have heard it time after time, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day". I know you know those but do you know WHY it's the most important meal of the day, and not just because the Kellogg's cereal told you so. It's because while we were sleeping for the 6-10 hours our body was "fasting" it was using up energy while we were sleeping. Yes you were potentially burning fat while you were sleeping. As you wake up, your body is now is required to walk to the bathroom, get dressed and so forth. All of those activities require energy, and where do we get our energy from - FOOD!
The other reason you need to eat before your sweat session is because you want to make it count. I don't know about you, but setting my alarm at 5am and having a shitty workout, IS NOT MY GAME PLAN. Avoid that by having a small breakfast before hand. Now I can't guarantee without a pre workout snack your workout isn't going to count or be as good, but I can tell you that you are putting the odds against yourself when you don't eat something.
I want to touch on this topic a bit because it is a popular one. "Fasting Runs or Fasting workouts" . We all have stored energy in our fats, livers and muscles just waiting for us to use. There have been numerous reports of weight loss/ better workouts when you put your body through "fasting running" or "fasting workouts". This is where you don't eat before hand and you rely on your energy stored in those areas. I feel this is a risk for numerous reasons. One, Because you also need to think about your blood sugar levels and while you are increasing the demand on your body, you are also increasing the risk of fainting and feeling light headed due to low blood sugar. Two, if you over exert yourself or exercise for too long of a duration, you may tap into your muscle stores which will decrease your strength. I suggest talking to a professional before you follow a "fasting workout" program.
Now, back to EATING before working out!
Here are my Top 5 Early Bird Breakfast's:
1. Oatmeal. We all know why I love oatmeal so much. It provides you with the perfect balance of carbohydrates,fiber and fats and it can be manipulated in numerous ways like this one. My number one reason to LOVE OATS is... Oats are great for providing you with continual energy throughout your workout.
Baked Berry Oatmeal- I like this recipe for 2 reasons. It tastes yummy. And you can pre portion it accordingly! BOOM! grab the recipe here
2. Banana Yes, life can be that simple in the morning. Banana's have glucose and fructose in them, just like many sports drinks and bars, yet this is au natural! It also releases a hormone called dopamine which helps combat free radicals that are formed from stress from your workout. Having a banana can help increase anti oxidants and help muscle recovery. Good pre and post snack.
3. Whole Grain bread with nut butter, honey or a boiled egg Whole grains, just like oats, provide you with continual energy and can be accompanied with proteins such as a nut butter or a boiled egg. If you have a sweet tooth, try pairing it with a natural organic honey for a boost of glucose.
4. Protein Shakes The obvious early bird pre workout snack. Aim for a protein shake with at least 20g of protein, add flax seeds, hemp seeds or oats to your shake to increase your fiber and energy yielding nutrients. Adding in fruit will give you the morning boost you need from the fructose provided. You will need that for instant energy.
5. Fruit and Yogurt An easy grab and go pre workout snack. Mix Greek yogurt with your favourite berries, apples, or banana slices. Heads up- Protein takes longer to break down to create fuel. This is why combining yogurt and berries will assist in energy production. Adding the berries to your yogurt parfait will increase energy right away and the protein from the Greek yogurt will help with muscle recovery. Great pre and post snack.
As you may have noticed a lot of these pre work out early bird snacks can also replicate as a post workout snack. And yes, you can use most of these as most. Oats, I would keep for pre and less as a post.
Waking up early for your workout has been recorded to
- Increase work productivity
- Increase focus and clarity
- Increase motivation personally and professionally
I personally love a solid morning sweat session!
Having a solid plan of what to eat, what to wear and what to do for a workout and where to find motivation will alleviate the majority of your road blocks that may approach early in your morning.
. I hope this will set you up for a great morning sweat session!