Weight and Resistance Training - Eat before workout in the morning?

11-07-2008, 02:18 PM
Hello everyone,

I have a question for all you ladies who work out the first thing in the morning? Do you eat before workout or after?

I usually get up around 5:45 or so and then work out from 6:00 AM to 6:45 AM in the basement. Sometimes I get really tired and not able to do much. I was wondering if that could be due to my not eating in the morning. I have dinner at around 7:30 PM. And the next meal is breakfast after shower at around 7:30 AM.


11-07-2008, 02:29 PM
I don't workout in the morning, but even so ... if I don't have something about 30 mins before I start working out, I get really tired easily and find it hard to complete a workout. I usually have a can of V8 in the car on the way to the gym - just enough to give me a boost, w/out making me feel full.

Sometimes in the late afternoon, I'll have 1/2 a pb sandwich if I think I need the protein before working out.


11-07-2008, 02:32 PM
I dont work out in the am but like Photochick said I like to have something at least an hour or so before I do workout.

Maybe if you had a banana or something right when you got up it might help?? :)

11-07-2008, 02:41 PM
I get up at 4:30am to workout. I usualy don't eat breakfast till about 6:45 or 7am after I'm done with my shower. I've never felt tired, sick or anything. But I'm sure everyone is different.

11-07-2008, 03:35 PM
I don't eat before I workout but sometimes I'll have some tea with almond or soy milk before I work out. (Like chai tea or similar)

11-07-2008, 04:14 PM
No. I used to do my cardio on my treadmill (for a solid hour). I got up at 5:30 am to be able to squeeze it in. I never ate anything prior to that, but I would sip water while on the TM.

11-07-2008, 04:30 PM
For me, working out on an empty stomach doesn't work out so well, but some people can handle it.

I personally suggest eating something with a good protein/carbs combo before a workout like some cottage cheese with fruit, a piece of whole wheat toast with some peanut butter on it, or a Zone/Luna/one of those moderate protein/carbs/fat combo nutrition bars. And if you are doing any kind of strength training, it is a good idea to eat (or drink) at least 8 grams of protein post workout.

11-07-2008, 04:49 PM

As you can tell from the posts, some do, some don't. I've experimented with this a little myself this year. In the past, I was able to have a complete protein/carb breakfast an hour before my 9:30am workout. I felt great during my workouts which would last for over an hour and half to sometimes, two hours. :goodvibes: Those were awesome and I miss those days now that I have some time constraints. But just for the record, ya don't need to be at it for two hours. (Just had to add that for clarification)

Currently, I am waking at 4:30am to get to the gym at 5:30am. My last meal is usually around 7:00pm. Because our bodies use stored glycogen during our sleep it is helpful to have a simple carb just before doing the workout. Usually I will have a slice of whole grain toast (okay, not so simple carb) or half of a very ripe banana. It isn't meant to fill me up it's just enough to give me a little something to run on until I have time to eat when I get home. At that time I will have the protein oatmeal goo that I'm so fond of. The bonus is that it's a great post workout breakfast.

I also found this article interesting too:


One of the articles I read suggested that the body does not care if the simple carbs are solid or liquid and suggest that adding a quarter cup of OJ to the water bottle will also help provide you with the energy needed to keep your momentum going during the workout. I like that idea but I still need to have something solid. Just a personal preference. ;)

11-07-2008, 05:15 PM
Thanks all, I will experiment with having something in the morning - Juice, 1/2 banana or something like that. I do not feel like eating that early in the day but perhaps something small will give me some energy boost.

11-07-2008, 05:20 PM
Yeah, I don't think you need a whole lot. Just something so that your body isn't freaking out about being exerted after nearly 12 hours of fasting.

I like the 1/2 a banana idea .. maybe with a little peanut butter or something.


11-07-2008, 06:26 PM
I always have a piece of fruit on my way to the gym.

Thighs Be Gone
11-07-2008, 09:45 PM
Nothing here, I can't run if I have just eaten and I run at 5:45 in the morning. I have also read that you are more likely to burn stored fat on an empty stomach. If you eat before hand, you are burning first, the calories you just ate.

11-07-2008, 10:00 PM
If you eat before hand, you are burning first, the calories you just ate.Except that's just not physically possible. :) It takes your body several hours to convert eaten food into calories and stored fat. The food that goes into your stomach is digested and the nutrients begin to be absorbed within 10 mins or so. It's the nutrients - the carbs especially - that help give you an energy boost when you're working out. That's why a lot of athletes eat high carb before working out and high protein after.

Additionally to that, you don't actually burn fat until you exceed the number of calories you've consumed for the day. So it's not really a linear type progression - this exercise burns that fat. The calories you burn are cumulative over the course of the day as are the calories you eat.

Just like you can't say "this brownie went to my left hip" :) you can't say "this jog burned last night's fat".


11-08-2008, 12:26 AM
I think Thighs Be Gone is referring to Fasted Cardio, which has something to do with glycogen levels being depleted overnight and fat being burned right away as an alternative. I've read articles that say if you eat beforehand it takes appx 20 minutes to burn through your glycogen as a fuel source before the body turns to fat for energy. I don't know much about it, just the supposed theory. Neither agree nor disagree with the debatable theory as I don't know enough about it. I'm Switzerland when I'm clueless and am just doing it to burn calories, get strong and build muscles.

ETA- Oh yeah - what I do. I tend to workout at night, which means I've chomped my way through the day. Night works beautiful for me because I find I have no cravings for nibbles whatsoever after a heavy workout. When I do train in the morning, it's usually weights with the trainer so I always always eat first. I'm terribly weak without a good breakfast and my trainer yells at me.

11-08-2008, 09:29 AM
I do cardio at 5:15 am on an empty stomach. I've tried lifting on an empty stomach and nearly killed myself:dizzy:

I can really crank out the cardio, but for me, weights are just dangerous and I can't get a good weight workout without food in me.


11-12-2008, 06:45 AM
you should eat 2 hours before workout , specially if you have weight problem , because that you have cortisol problem , and if you don't eat protein reach food in morning you will make bigger problem , so wake up earlier and eat , 2 hour after go and workout

11-12-2008, 08:32 AM
Do you have any evidence to back up that claim? How do you know that the poster has a cortisol problem?

I'd take that advice with a grain of salt or a physical.

11-12-2008, 09:56 AM
eeek! Markoni, you would have me wake up at 3 in the morning to eat so I could run at 5 am? I'm tired just thinking about it!
I think we all have to figure out what works for each of us. I'll take the two more hours of sleep!

11-12-2008, 10:17 AM
Separate from this, I was going to post here this morning bc I just read a Jillian Michael's Q&A done by Fitness RX magazine. She says you should eat one hour before working out, otherwise you will metabolize muscle tissue for energy. It was in an older 2007 issue - I can pull the month if anyone has kept these on hand and wants to pull it up.

11-12-2008, 02:03 PM
Yeah, I work out first thing in the morning too. I'd really hate to have to give that up. It makes sure it gets done, it wakes me up, it makes me feel better all day, and I make better food choices too.

I've experimented a little with having some fruit or a small portion of a green smoothie before exercising. I run or do yoga, so anything heavier in the stomach doesn't work. I'm not sure it's made any great difference.

Note - meant to say, I already get up at 5, so really, getting up at 3 to eat makes no sense. Not exercising until 7 won't get me to work on time.

11-12-2008, 05:09 PM
I grab a string cheese as I'm headed out the door at 5:10am to get to the gym by 5:30am. I can eat it in the car on the way, along with my Diet. Mt. Dew. (Which I know I should give up, but I'm not going to. :snooty: I don't have any other vices left.)

When I get home from the gym and get ready for work I usually grab a glass of milk with some protein powder. Or sometimes (no-sugar added) chocolate milk with a spoonful of peanut butter.

12-10-2008, 04:21 AM
When I work out in the early morning, I do not eat beforehand. As it is, without eating, it's a minimum of 1/2 an hour from the time I role out of bed until the time I start exercising. I'm old and it just takes a little while for all my body parts to wake up and start moving.

Then it is a real problem for me to exercise with food in my stomach, so I generally try to make sure that I haven't eaten anything for at least an hour before I work out, regardless of when I work out. So eating before working out in the morning would mean getting up an hour and a half before I want to be at the gym. Well, that's just crazy! And what would I do with that hour? What I'd want to do is fall back asleep, but that's going to shut down my digestive system, which wouldn't help empty my stomach of the food I just ate.

But I eat dinner fairly late. It is not unusual for us to sit down to dinner at 9:00 PM. And then I usually have a late night snack around 11:00 PM, and hopefully get to bed by say 1:00 AM (especially if I'm getting up early to exercise). So maybe all that late night eating is enough to sustain me through my morning workout.

I've also read that theory that if you work out in the morning before you eat, you burn more stored fat. I can't remember where, but it was from someone reputable. So it just goes to show that there are lots of different opinions on that.

12-15-2008, 01:29 PM
I think one can find a study or two to support any advice given. :)