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Early Morning Workouts: Eat Prior?

From Brian: One question I have regarding early morning workouts...the book talks about waiting an hour or so after you eat before you workout...that would make it a very early morning for me. Is it okay to workout before breakfast? What would you advise?

Working out in the AM is a GOOD idea, but it is silly to get up at 4 AM to eat something for a 6 AM workout -- that would be beyond exhausting and unsustainable. I personally do not eat before my early morning work-outs...I feel much better on an empty stomach (no chance of cramping from undigested food). However, I also know that those are not the days that I can go much longer than 60-90 minutes (depending on the type and intensity of exercise) before I run out of steam. Interestingly, our bodies also adapt to working out early on an empty stomach by tapping into our fat stores a wee bit sooner for an energy source -- sparing the precious muscle glycogen, which is already a bit lower from fasting overnight -- and allowing us to exercise a bit longer over time. This is my crazy little way of thinking working out early is a win-win! Just remember to re-energize with a healthy breakfast within 30-60 minutes following your workout with a focus on healthy carbs and protein (oatmeal with skim milk and fruit, yogurt with granola and fruit, whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana, or an egg-white omelet with spinach, peppers and onion).