1. #1

    Morning Workout: Eating Before or Eating After?

    Hello All,

    I'm sure some of you will have good advice for this question I have....

    I have a daily 2 hr block of time that I can use to workout and that is between 8am to 10am. I typically wake up at 6:30 to 7:30am

    My question is: would it be better to eat breakfast after a workout or have something light beforehand? ( If something light before, any recommendations? )

    If I have breakfast after working out, is there something to eat or some kind of energy drink worth trying before working out? I'm worried that if I go in with an empty stomach, I won't have a high level of energy to workout good. On the other hand, I know that having breakfast before hand isn't a good idea either.

    I finally have a no excuses time slot available for exercise and just want to make the best of it.

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  3. #2
    Junior Member Mountain Man's Avatar
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    I think you've got to play around a bit and see what works for you. I've worked out daily approximately an hour after rising for over 40 years. Just a moderate sized cup of black coffee with a little sweetener and I'm ready to go. Workouts are around 45 minutes, very hard and non stop. I never tank during the workout. After I eat a meal of yogurt and some natural peanut butter and then off to work.

    I think it's far more important to make it a habit rather than overthink what you eat. If you feel energized then it works for you, no two people are the same. Results come from consistency, not some magic combination of foods. There is no substitute for consistency and hard work.

    I think there is too much overthinking today. The internet is a great source of info, but it leads to paralysis analysis for a lot of guys. The workout is the most important part of your equation. You're better off focusing on developing some solid behaviors and mental attitudes.

    Try a few things out, find what works for you and do that... consistently.

  4. #3
    Moderator Vince's Avatar
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    I feel my best, when I workout before I eat. I do drink a nitric stack when I first get up, then about a 1/2 hour I'm into my workout.
    I am not a medical practitioner. Any suggestions I provide are not medical recommendations and are just my opinions. Please consult with your physician on any matters concerning your health.

  5. #4
    I do a banana and perhaps a small 1/2cup of oatmeal and my pre-workout energy/nitric oxide drink w/25oz water and then eat immediately afterward. You don't want all that blood in your gut trying to digest when you need it running through your body during a workout, and getting the full stomach barf feeling in the gym isn't pleasant.

  6. #5
    It's a matter of personal preference. Try both and see.

  7. #6
    Thanks everyone for the replies! This is very helpful. I'm definitely guilty of over thinking things and your comment Mountain Man was perfect for me and made so much sense. Focus on making it a habit: that is something I will work on.

    now not to overthink things, I'm totally blown away with the large array of different pre workout drinks. I don't know the difference between a nitric stack and a carbohydrate. When I was in my 20s, I took a pre workout drink called Carboplex and that stuff was great and worked good for me for morning workouts. Now that it's 2017, I see hundreds of different brands and formulas and terms I never heard of. The reason I'm a little hesitant to workout in the morning without anything is that I am borderline hypoglycemic and the thought of working out hard while blood sugar is low, I'm thinking I'll be weak. I guess have to stop overthinking and just try.

  8. #7
    I agree completely that nothing beats trial and error. That said, I would add that it also depends on your priorities for your workout. As I undertand the physiology of insulin, your energy-burning will be shifted toward sugar rather than fat if you have significant insulin in your system, so for workouts where burning fat is important to you, then no food, or MCT oil and/or coffee only might be best. If your workout intestity is more important, then something with a bit of carbs might work better. When you eat your last meal may be a factor as well. I try to adhere to an 8-hour feeding window a la leangains which I find works very well for me, however if I ate at 6:30 am that would put my last meal at 2:30 in the afternoon, which would not work well for my schedule, so I think that is a factor too.

  9. #8

  10. #9
    Pre workout meal/drink may boost energy for some or make others sluggish depending on what was eaten. If leaning out is your goal I would eliminate the carbs and just have an EAA/BCAA drink pre-workout and maybe a few tablespoons of coconut oil in black coffee or green tea. If looking to add mass and train heavy for strength than carbs are critical and contrary to popular belief the carbs you eat pre workout will improve energy to train but it is really the glycogen replenishment from your most recent training session of that specific muscle that will be stored in the muscle until your next training session that will contribute the greatest to strength/intensity of your next training session, so basically as long as you are replenishing your glycogen stores by consuming carbohydrates daily you should be able to lift heavier and train longer let alone get better pumps in the gym and your muscles will always look fuller when consuming an adequate amount of carbs in your diet. Training with depleted glycogen stores is one of the most critical mistakes people make when trying to add mass/increase strength in the gym. I would put money on it that if you train following a low carb/high fat/moderate protein diet vs a moderate-high carbohydrate/moderate protein/low-moderate fat diet that you will always be bigger/stronger/have fuller muscles/better pumps/improved recovery any day following a moderate-high carbohydrate diet.

  11. #10
    Attachment 3645

    You could try taking this, sip pre-workout and drink throughout your workout to improve energy if you feel you are borderline hypoglycemic.

  12. #11
    I would always have to ear before. Usually oats with a scoop of peanut butter and protein. Make it a little runny to make it easier to go down first thing in the morning.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by madman View Post
    Attachment 3645

    You could try taking this, sip pre-workout and drink throughout your workout to improve energy if you feel you are borderline hypoglycemic.
    Yes water is important to avoid dehydration.

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