If you’re heading in for an early morning workout, you’re going to have to do things slightly different than if you were working out in the afternoon or evening. The reason being that not only is your body more cold at this point in the day, so you’re more likely to be suffering from stiff and achy joints, but in addition to that, you aren’t well fueled. If you workout in the afternoon, you’ll have at least two meals in you energizing you through that session.
If you workout first thing in the morning however, this won’t be the case. Instead, you’ll have to rely on just your pre workout meal to get the job done.
And sadly, most people skip over their pre-workout meal, so you can imagine what this is going to do to your body and workout performance.
Let’s go over some of the key points to know and remember so that you can get on top of pre-workout nutrition and feed your body as you should be.
Get In Protein
First, you’ll want to make absolutely sure you have some protein in your system if you are doing a strength training or interval cardio session. This will provide the body with the amino acids it needs to fuel the muscles during the session and prevent tissue break-down.
Whey protein isolate is an ideal solution here since it’s rapidly digesting and easy tolerated by most people before exercise.
If you have more time before you hit the gym, then a solid digesting protein source such as chicken or some eggs would be a good choice.
Just remember to avoid any foods that will spike your blood glucose levels and then cause a crash as that would lead to poor performance and could potentially become dangerous as well.
Try BCAA’s If You Can’t Stomach Solid Food
For some individuals, the thought of stomaching solid food first thing in the morning before their workout just doesn’t sit well. If that’s you, you’ll want to use some branched chain amino acids.
These can be taken in before the workout session begins or taken during the exercise itself if you can tolerate supplementation while exercising.
These are specific amino acids that are especially utilized by the muscle cells and will help to boost your performance and prevent a catabolic state. They have been well proven to help assist with recovery purposes as well, so another reason to consider them.
Staying well hydrated both before and during the workout is also something to think about. Try and drink at least a cup of fluid before the workout and another 1-2 cups throughout.
This can be in conjunction with your protein shake or can be through your BCAA’s mixed with water or an electrolyte solution beverage (without sugar) such as coconut water.
Eat Well Before Bed
Finally, make sure that you are eating well before bed if you have an early morning workout scheduled. This is another point not to overlook. Eating well before bed will prepare you for the morning ahead as you will wake up with fully saturated muscle glycogen stores.
If you’re dieting and go to bed hungry, you’ll have that much more to catch up for your pre-workout meal before you hit the gym.
So keep these quick tips in mind as you strive to shift your workouts to first thing in the morning. Those who do these regularly often find they love them, but it does take a bit of planning and getting used to exercise at this time before you make it a regular part of your routine.