What Should You Eat if You Work Out in the Morning?

What Should You Eat if You Work Out in the Morning?

“What should I eat if I work out first thing in the morning? I eat several small meals throughout the day, but when I work out first thing in the AM, it has been hours since my last meal.” —David A.

You’re not alone. I get a lot of similar questions. Morning eating is tricky because your body can store glycogen overnight so you may not need to eat anything at all — just drink water. However, when your diet is lean and you’re training hard (a very common scenario for Beachbody-ers) you can use up all of your glycogen for the previous day’s recovery, leaving your tank empty when you wake up. Here is our standard recommendation for this situation.

Try eating a banana (or half, depending on your size) in the morning just before your workout. If you feel better during your workout, especially near the end, you’ve figured out that you’re running out of glycogen. If this is the case you can do one of two things: keep eating the banana or something similar (about 100 calories of mostly carbs) or add a serving of carbohydrates (rice, sweet potato, etc.) to your evening meal. Both should accomplish the same thing.

When your workout is over, you’ve burned through your glycogen and want to replenish it, which means either adding a few low-fiber carbs to your Recover (juice or a cup of fruit will do nicely) and/or having a breakfast that’s mainly carbs with a little protein, like fruit with yogurt or cereal with milk.