10 pre-workout breakfast ideas
The early morning is a great time to work out and can offer valuable benefits.
But what food will help you to get the most from your efforts?
Fitness and nutrition expert Patrick Dale, from Fitness Volt, has this guide on what to eat to fuel your morning workouts and maximize energy.
Morning pre-workout meals and snacks
Ripe banana mashed onto toast with a little honey
Cereal and low-fat milk
Fruit smoothie made with soft fruit, low-fat yogurt and protein powder
A carb/protein energy bar or granola bar
Scrambled egg whites and rice crackers
Instant oatmeal and berries
Bagel and turkey slices
Toasted English muffin with low-fat cream cheese
Toast and fruit preserve, plus a cup of low-fat natural yogurt
Turkey and crackers
Ultimately, so long as your meal contains moderate to high carbs and a source of protein, it will provide your body with what it needs to power through your workout.
How long before working out should you eat?
Ideally, you should consume your early morning training meal 30-60 minutes before you start training.
Liquids digest more quickly than solids, so if you plan to train shortly after getting up, it may be better to drink rather than eat your pre-workout meal.
Make sure what you eat the night before is also a pre-workout meal
Eating a nutritionally complete meal a few hours before bed will help fuel muscle recovery and growth and ensure you wake up with good levels of muscle glycogen.
Your early morning pre-workout snack should top up your already high levels of glycogen and glucose.
As glucose and glycogen are needed to power you through your workout, carbohydrates should be the cornerstone of your pre-early morning workout meal.
You need fast-acting and easy to digest carbs.
This means you should choose foods that rank moderate to high on the glycemic index chart such as dates, breakfast cereal, white bread, ripe bananas and white rice.
While you can just eat carbs before training, some research suggests combining carbs with protein will have an even better effect.
Avoid fatty foods
Fat is the most significant gastric inhibitor, which keeps food in your stomach for longer and delays digestion.
As such, your pre-early morning workout meal should be very low in fat – not even healthy fats such as olive oil, flaxseed oil or coconut oil.
Also, avoid natural sources of fats such as nuts and whole eggs.
Fibre is part of most carbohydrate foods.
However, while fibre is very good for you, like fat, it is also a major gastric inhibitor and best avoided in pre-early morning workout meals. Instead, look for more refined and naturally low-fibre foods such as white bread instead of wholegrain bread.
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