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What to eat before exercise in the morning?

(19 Posts)
AlorsMeh Mon 12-Jan-15 10:50:27

Yesterday I started a boxercise class. It starts at 10am and so I ate a banana and a piece of toast and had an espresso at 9am. The class started with jogging, sprinting, interspersed with sit ups and press ups. About 10 mins in I felt lightheaded and I was gagging. I had to take 10 mins out before I felt up to carrying on.

It has been so long since I did anything this vigorous in the morning, my regular exercise consists of daily walking, weekly yoga and a weekly ballet class. These classes are at the end of the day by which time I am feeling pretty loose and have eaten properly. Exercising this vigorously and this early in the morning is a new thing for me and I don't know how best to fuel up in preparation for the class and also if it was the low blood sugar alone that made me feel so groggy.

I would really appreciate some advice on what is the best thing to eat and when I should eat it as I really want to keep going with this.

Claybury Mon 12-Jan-15 12:24:36

It depends what time you have dinner the night before. I eat my evening meal early (6ish) so rely on breakfast.
Before a 10 am gym session I have 7.30 am small bowl of porridge and cup of tea. Walk the dog then have a piece of toast and peanut butter and milky coffee.
What you had sounds about right to me though you could have a bit more breakfast. Maybe drink some water well before your class too to ensure hydration levels are good.

AlorsMeh Mon 12-Jan-15 12:43:42

Thanks Claybury. I also eat an early dinner usually done eating by 7pm. I think I need to get up earlier and yes eat more. Might also replace the espresso with water and try a Gatorade or some such to get sugars up.

26Point2Miles Mon 12-Jan-15 13:18:36

Before my 10am bootcamp class I have a few sips of water. Work out in a 'fasted' state

Early morning runs under ten miles, the same, water and fasted

Early morning above ten miles is scrambled eggs. Investigating electrolytes but protein works for me

Any reason you are relying on lots of carbs? They are likely to give a energy spike followed by a slump

Not sure if the caffeine is any good either

holmessweetholmes Mon 12-Jan-15 13:29:15

I find it much better to do my run on either no breakfast or a protein-rich breakfast rather than carbs. So I have eggs or full-fat natural yoghurt with some berries, nuts and seeds. If I have cereal, toast etc it feels like my body uses that up in no time at all and then I feel drained.

AlorsMeh Mon 12-Jan-15 15:35:51

Thanks for more responses. There is no reason I am relying on carbs other than I have no real grasp of what I should be eating blush

Now you mention it, it makes no sense at all to eat carbs. I just felt I should eat something. I would actually have preferred to eat nothing but I thought that would be worse. It sounds from what you are saying that this might be OK. Would that require eating later the evening before?

AlorsMeh Mon 12-Jan-15 15:40:09

Actually, maybe carbs give an energy boost before a workout? Aaargh, I'm confused.

Claybury Mon 12-Jan-15 15:55:38

Complex carbs are good for breakfast for sustained energy - porridge oats are perfect.
What to avoid is stuff like white sugar and white bread ( High GI) which gives you instead sugar then a slump. So sugary cereals are a no no. ( most cereals are v sugary) White bread and jam would be a poor breakfast which does not sustain you at all and gives you sugar cravings all day.

Caffeine can also give you an immediate high then a slump.

holmessweetholmes Mon 12-Jan-15 16:13:50

I know in theory porridge ought to be good, but since I only like it liberally doused in honey or syrup, it doesn't end up being much better than a standard sugary cereal. And again, brown toast is fine but not with honey, jam etc. I love wholemeal toast with unsweetened peanut butter, but it still doesn't keep me going nearly as well as a breakfast omelette does.

AlorsMeh Mon 12-Jan-15 16:53:24

Thanks all. I will definitely drop the coffee and try porridge maybe sweetened with apple.

Showy Mon 12-Jan-15 16:57:58

I eat nothing, workout on an empty stomach and eat about 40 minutes later. I've experimented and this works best for most sessions. However, if I'm doing a mammoth session I have porridge or eggs and a banana an hour beforehand.

Showy Mon 12-Jan-15 17:01:38

Oh and if working out on an empty stomach and refuelling afterwards- actually quite good for you - stay well hydrated before and during exercise. Otherwise the shaky, cold, wobblies will get you post workout.

SacredHeart Mon 12-Jan-15 17:05:40

I think it's pure trial and error.

I run in the morning and can't have more than banana and a coffee or it's torture, my friend has to have porridge or Peanut butter on toast. I have a protein shake after and lots of water, she just has water.

Give a few options a try and see which is best for you.

Marphe Mon 12-Jan-15 17:11:13

If I'm exercising for less than an hour I either go without or have a banana. Longer than that I have porridge, but ideally it would be at least 1.5 hours before the session starts.

I have only water to drink, but coffee is supposed to be very good for athletic performance.

chipsandpeas Mon 12-Jan-15 17:21:35

i go to the gym first thing in the morning before work and dont eat anything but then i cant eat first thing at the best of times
i normally have breakfast about 9sih once in work

the lightheadedness may be put down to the type of exercise you are doing if you arent used to it

GetLow Fri 16-Jan-15 16:03:46

I go to the gym at 9am ish.

I have porridge with apple & banana at about 7.45, a cup of tea, water.

I have been to the gym on just a banana and a cuppa and felt tired and hungry all day afterwards.

sleepwhenidie Fri 16-Jan-15 16:13:27

As sacredheart says, this is just as likely to be the fact that you aren't used to the intensity of the exercise you were doing, particularly coupled with the coffee. I would start by dropping the coffee (which can be fantastic before a workout as it has shown to increase endurance/effort - but this won't apply to everyone and certainly shouldn't be used until you can cope with a workout 'uncaffeinated'wink). Beyond that, experiment with breakfast as again, everyone is different. Making the toast wholegrain, keep the banana and adding nut butter will reduce the sugar spike and may be the only tweak you need, but also try porridge, eggs etc as suggested smile.

Unidentifieditem Fri 16-Jan-15 17:13:16

I can't exercise with a breakfast in my stomach. Usually a cappuccino about 1 hr before I go for a run is ok. Muesli bar seems to be ok too. Anything else = chunder mountain

Suzannewithaplan Fri 16-Jan-15 17:54:48

I think it's trial and error, everyone is different, some have the cast iron stomach thing, me I have the opposite I guess that'd be a tissue paper stomach, I like to leave a good long gap between eating and anything strenuous.

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