Working out in the morning adds instant energy to your day and data shows it also makes you a more consistent exerciser. Hitting the off button on your alarm instead of snooze is already hard enough, so what other ways can you better prepare for workout success? How about the fuel for your body? Many trot right out of bed, into their leggings and straight to the treadmill. Is this the best way to workout? Turns out, you might want to make a brief stop in the kitchen first.
If you plan to workout an hour or longer, you’re going to need fuel to keep you moving and motivated—without morning exhaustion hitting. What to eat depends on what type of fitness you’re doing.
If your plan is to hop on the spin bike or clock in a 5K before the workday, you’re going to need carbs to give you energy for all that cardio. Nutritionist Kristen Ciuba recommends eating 30-40 minutes before your workout so that the food has time to digest. Try a half a piece of toast with peanut butter and a banana. Don’t eat foods too high in protein or fiber, since those take longer to digest and may impact your workout.
It’s likely that you won’t expend as much energy in yoga that you do with a cardio exercise, but it’s still important to eat something. Ellen Barrett, a certified yoga instructor, told Shape magazine that in the morning, she enjoys an apple to wake her up, help hydrate and provide fiber to stop her stomach from growling during class. A handful of almonds is another quick and easy choice—perfect for snacking on your way to class.
If your plan is to lift weights and build muscle in the morning, consider eating a snack high in protein before you lift that first barbell. You’ll also want something that provides slow-digesting carbs. Try oatmeal or some nuts. The most important factor in strength training is what you consume post-workout. Have a scoop of protein powder or another snack (such as yogurt) to provide the protein you need for the muscle-repair process.