Why You Should Eat Before a Morning Workout
So I’m the type of person that HAS to eat breakfast in the morning. If I don’t, I’m grouchy, I’m moody and let’s face it, no one wants to be around me. I don’t know if it’s just hunger from not eating overnight or if it’s just that I need energy to get me going. Whatever it is I need it. So when I started working out first thing in the morning I was faced with a dilemma. I’ve been getting up about and hour an half earlier than normal but I don’t want to get up any earlier than I have to but I don’t want to go with out breakfast. I also don’t want to feel sluggish during my morning workout, I need to perform my best, but also, what’s up with this “fasted cardio” thing? I had to do my research. Bottom line, I’m gonna eat. I just have to figure out what and how.
During my research I found out I’m not alone. My dilemma is common. Yay! The good news is, it’s possible to be properly fueled for a morning workout without the icky feeling in your stomach when that breakfast isn’t sitting just right. It’s all about what you eat, and when you eat it. Don’t sabotage your morning workout before you even get started. Even if you’re not like me (a normal a breakfast eater), eating something before you move and you will most likely boost your performance. Ideally, you’ll eat a mix of carbs and protein an hour before you sweat. The protein will help that energy last longer, the carbs give you a kick of energy.
If you’re worried about adding more calories to your daily intake, don’t. Not only will you not eat that much more, you should always fuel yourself before a morning workout.
Despite what you may have heard, working out fasted doesn’t lead to more fat loss and instead allows for excessive muscle breakdown during and after working out (scientifically speaking). Instead, try a snack based on your needs. I came up with a genius idea. Protein balls! Ok, so it took me 3 times to figure out what works best for me, and what tastes best for me. I need something that I actually somewhat look forward to eating. It’s probably all in my head but whatever. It works. It gives me my energy and I don’t feel like hell driving to my 6AM workout. So here’s the thing. I actually got this amazing recipe from a friend. I made a few tweaks and wa-la! Done. Perfection! So here’s the recipe:
1 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
(original recipe found here: http://smashedpeasandcarrots.com/no-bake-energy-bites-recipe/)
Really in a crunch for time or feel like you really just can not eat first thing in the morning? Totally fine. Just make sure if you’re feeling dizzy or woozy, drink some water or have a small snack.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Yes, eat! It seems that most research shows you’re better off eating than not eating.