The Best Early Morning Workout Meals to Start Your Day Right!
By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD
Picture this (or maybe this was your morning today):
Your alarm goes off at 4:30 am, waking you from a nice dream. You get up before shutting it off, in case you don’t stay awake, since you have bootcamp class in about 45 minutes and need to rush. The warm pillow just feels so good pressed against your face though, but you know that exercise feels so much better.
Sleeping is great, but working out is better
Once you finally get dressed, you wander in the kitchen try to figure out what to eat.
Or, if you eat the wrong thing, you’ll feel even worse – shaky, irritable, and unable to exercise; and that’s not what you want.
First, let’s look at what not to eat:
If you eat a food consisting entirely of carbohydrates, like a fruit (banana or apple), or a typical sport drink (something-ade), or plain toast, your blood sugars will skyrocket immediately and then plummet during your workout, leaving you feeling weak and sick.
So, avoid eating just a quick banana or a glass of fruit juice because you won’t make it through your entire workout without feeling that sickening energy drop that we’ve all experienced at least once in our lives.
This protein can come from whey protein powder, hemp protein powder or hemp seed butter, natural peanut butter, plain organic yogurt, or eggs and egg whites, to name a few examples.
Fiber in the morning will also promote a healthy digestive system and regular bowel movements, so that you don’t feel bloated and constipated throughout the day. Some examples of fiber to eat in the morning include ground flax seeds, sprouted grain bread, beans, and fibers found naturally in nut butters.
Experiment with which fiber works best for you to ensure you don’t feel too full or become gassy (no one likes a stinky bootcamper).
Finally, small amounts of healthy fats, like those found in flax oils, flax seeds, nut butters, egg yolks, and olive oils can be a good addition to your pre-workout meal to give you “slow” energy that will last you until you get home from your class.
Remember: No single morning pre-workout meal is going to work for everyone, so try a few and find out what works best for your stomach and your scenario.
Here are a few easy and quick ideas that have worked great for bootcampers I’ve had the pleasure of working with. Try them out and let us know what you think. Let us know what your favorite pre-workout meals are too!
Take 1 scoop of whey protein and mix in a small container with 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds and water or unsweetened almond milk. Mix up the night before and let soak in the refrigerator. When you eat it in the morning, the flax seeds will “thicken” up the whey, making it taste like a fiber-rich pudding.
Toast one slice of Ezekiel Sprouted Grain bread (bread made without flour, found in the freezer section of some grocery stores) and top with 1 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
Mix one scoop Fusion (with naturally-added fiber) with water or almond milk and drink right away.
Banana or Organic Apple with Natural Almond Butter
Top ½ or whole organic apple or banana with 1 Tbsp natural almond butter
Mix 1 scoop whey protein with 1 cup water or almond milk in a small bowl container. Then, add ½ cup low-sugar breakfast cereal like Cheerios, Shredded Wheat, or Rice Squares.
Banana Walnut Protein Bar
Try this great, easy, recipe which contains mostly just whey, walnuts, banana, butter, and eggs. It’s the perfect mix of fiber, protein, and healthy fats to keep your workout strong! Make it the day before and enjoy it all week long! Click here for the recipe >>
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