T Nation

Breakfast Before Lifting?


Due to work I'll be changing my lifting time from midafternoon to early morning.

What do you suggest I eat before lifting to break my overnight fast and give my body a little boost to work hard?

Goals are currently strength gains, not fat loss, and I'm doing Renegade training. Thanks guys!


What has worked very wellfor me is a bowl of oats, Low-Carb Grow! and an apple. Sometimes I work out even 45 min afterwards but usually try to wait about 1.5 hours. Anyways it provides me with AWESOME slowburning energy.



How long do you have from waking until workout?

Two Quick Tips

1) Don't fast overnight.
2) Focus on hydration in the morning.



Mix Gatorade, 1 teaspoon of instant regular coffee and 1 scoop of whey protein...


I do what dezz does, except for the apple. It's about 1.5 hours between food and fun. I also make sure I get plenty of liquid in me prior to working out; this means a large cup of green tea on my way to the gym, right after Power Drive.


I am working out at home so I can get up early if I will have to eat and wait a bit for things to digest. I don't exactly have an hour and a half to wait before I lift since I do need to be at work at 7:30. I used to lift after I got home but now that I'm working on an ambulance my off time is never guaranteed and I'm dead tired by the time I get home.


If you're working out pretty quick you need to eat whatever is going to digest the fastest and hit your system the quickest. So this pretty much rules most whole foods out b/c it's going to take too long for them to digest and hit your system rather than relying exclusively on muscle and liver glycogen (being that you only have 60kcals of glucose in your body at a given point I believe. Barr can correct me if I'm wrong here).
So here are the options I would consider

1) NO whole foods.
2) High GI carbs
3) Liquid nutrition

So what options does this leave you with?
The perfect thing would be to have a bit of Surge right before your workout even and then some duing and after it.

But if that's not an option I would use some form of high GI sugar (not fructose since that has to be processed in the liver first and thus takes awhile) such as dextrose. Maltodextrin would be ok.

So Gatorade is a good option, or even drink green tea laced with a lot of sugar.

I would not worry about the insulin response from all this sugar for these two reasons
1) It's the morning and your muscle cells are more insulin sensitive right now
2) Excercise lowers insulin levels/response to food, and slows the rate of digestion by decreasing blood flow to the GI area.

So basically try to drink some form of sugar as soon as you get up and stick with something like Surge while you're working out.

As far as oats and lower GI carbs are concerned I would actually eat them slightly after your workout to keep themin your system for the rest of the day (maybe an hour or so PWO)

I hope this helps.



Good advice Powda, thank you. :slight_smile:


You're welcome. Now stop distracting me so I can open my textbooks two weeks into the semester!


I usually eat something small, like a Grow! bar, before heading to the gym. I bike about 4 miles, and then I begin my workout immediately. This means about 20 minutes between breakfast and lifting.

I sip Surge all throughout my workout, and then I have a Grow! shake (Classic Grow!) right after my workout.

I know some people don't like to ingest food right before working out, but this tends to work great for me!


Home-brewed Starbucks and a half scoop Vanilla Grow!...breakfast of champions!


How long do you wait after drinking that to lift?


So would you say that some of the "weight gainers" would be good since it has high GI carbs, and also a protien source?


Considering that most weight-gainers are full of Maltodextrin (I think) and sugar they're a good bet. Just be careful since the calories add up really fast with them!


Hey all, I have been reading the forums for a while but not posted before...I am a powerlifter and have always trained between 5:30-7:00am...Call me crazy, but I wanted to respond with a bit of a different answer from most of you just to show something else that works...For strength gains I have found if I don't eat anything or stick to just liquids then my workouts are not nearly as good. What I typically eat is 6 boiled egg whites and a cup of coffee or green tea..I do this and hit the gym as much as 30 minutes later and its not bad at all and my workouts are much better...it may take a while for the body to adjust to working out in morning, much less eating early and then training but its great when you get use to it...no excuses to not lift at the end of a grueling day at work or school.


I prefer to lift at night but on occasion do in the morning. In fact did just yesterday. I took a Spike and drank Grow! thoughout the workout and I feel awake and strong.