Nutrition hacks to power through your morning workout
Are you an early bird, out pounding the pavements before sunrise or first through the turnstiles at the gym?
There are tons of reasons to get in a morning workout. You’ll energise your body and mind for the day ahead. You’ll feel super accomplished. And you’ll get it done so the evening is for relaxing. What’s not to love about a morning workout?
But there’s one big question hanging over those early-morning training sessions. What should you eat? Let’s delve into the topic of nutrition for a morning workout.
Morning workout – Fasted or fueled?
There’s a lot of buzz around fasted workouts (particularly fasted cardio). The jury’s still out on whether fasted training is better for fat loss, or has any negative impact on muscle gain. We’re not going to tackle that debate here. But we can talk about fueling for fasted workouts.
If you choose to train fasted, this doesn’t mean you should go nil-by-mouth before your workout.
The bare minimum intake for fasted workouts is water. You’ve got to stay hydrated.
Beyond that, you might choose to sip on a BCAA drink before and during your session. The amino acids will give your body a small amount of energy and (more importantly) a buffer against catabolism.
Another popular choice before fasted training is caffeine. Have a small black coffee, or try PhD BCAA+ which combines caffeine, electrolytes, and BCAAs in a 4:1:1 ratio.
What to eat before a morning workout
If you decide fasted training isn’t for you, you’ll need to fuel up for muscle gain, energy, or training performance.
A good pre-workout breakfast will combine carbohydrates (for energy), protein (to protect muscle), and maybe a little caffeine to kickstart your system.
Try these simple meal ideas before your early morning training sessions:
- Whey protein or plant-based protein shake, piece of fruit (banana is a good choice), black coffee
- Overnight oats made of whole oats, berries, a scoop of protein powder, and a spoon of Greek yoghurt stirred together and refrigerated overnight.
- Protein smoothie made of 1 scoop protein powder, frozen berries, ½ frozen banana, ½ scoop fine oats, plus ice and a pinch of Xantham gum.
- PhD Smart Breakfast for the simplest and quickest balanced pre-workout shake, with oat flour, whey and soya proteins, digestive enzymes, probiotics, and caffeine.
4 nutrition rules for morning workouts
Energy: your pre-training mini-meal needs to give your mind and body enough energy to tackle your workout. This means calories (for your body) and caffeine or a pre-workout for your brain. The best source of calories before a workout come from easily digested carbohydrates like oats or fruit.
Electrolytes: it’s a good idea to include electrolytes in your pre-training meal or drink. Coconut water or coconut water powder is a healthy and natural source of key electrolyte micronutrients.
Hydration: always drink a large glass of water before training, and take a bottle of water, BCAA drink, or intra-workout to your training session.
Aminos: EAAs (essential amino acids) or BCAAs (branch chain amino acids) will help protect your muscle mass during early morning workouts.
The best supplements for morning workouts
Fuel up with PhD Smart Breakfast, then sip on All-Day EAAs or BCAAs during your training session to get the most out of your workout. Breakfast can be a great time to take your daily supplements like multivitamins, Vitamin D, and creatine, too. Then you can crack on with your day knowing you’ve taken your daily supplements and beasted a workout!