T Nation

Early A.M. Work-Out and Nutrition


Due to a scheduling change I'm changing my gym time to 5-6:15 AM. This means I'm up at 4:30 and out the door 5 minutes later. What would my ideal pre/post work-out eating be? And how long should I hold off on breakfast after my PWO shake?



I would shoot for a cup of coffe and protein or water and protein before.

Normal PWO

Solid breakfast within like an hour or so after that.

Or your schedule may dictate a different schedule. You gotta do what you gotta do.


I often workout at the same time as you do and am not very hungry usually..However what has really worked for me is immediately upon awakening I drink green tea ( I have it next to my bed) with some honey and on my way to the gym I pop 10-15 Amino Acids with a half a bottle of gatorade, which I finish during the workout.

About 30 minutes after the WO I have my regular PWO Shake, usually a lot of frozen fruit, water and protein powder. About an hour after that I have some coffee and a small solid meal (could be a tuna sandwhich or some hard boiled eggs etc.).

Works great for me.


Instant coffee mixed with Low-Carb Grow!
before training.

Amino vital during

Turkey/spiach wrap with apple and another Low-Carb Grow! after.



Surge or Surge type beverage pre Carbs and Fast Protein.

Dillute Surge or Carb beverage during.

Surge type beverage Post


Eat big P+C meal.


I had an early workout today (nothing close to as early as yours) and I had a Spike and a full serving of Surge before hand. I had an awesome workout (as early as it was for me). Then afterwards I was WAY too productive!

You can't go wrong with the Surge though, another thought is to have some Yogurt and some protein as the yogurt carries a very high Insulin Index rating and will get those nutrients into the cells.


I do the same as Phill suggested and found it works great. We are all different though and it depends on how you feel at that time of day.



Thanks for all the info>


On my A.M. workout days I take 2 Spike along with about 1/2 liter of water when I wake up. About 30 min later I down 1/3 of my Surge and start working out 15-20 min later. I finish another 1/3 of the Surge during the workout and down the rest right after my last set. Solid meal or Low-Carb Grow! shake about 45-60 min later. I have noticed that on my A.M. workout days I'm hungry all day long no matter how much I eat. On the days that I work out around midday I don't have that problem. Hmmm.


I work out in my home gym before I go to work. I will have protein powder in fruit juice right before I start my workout, then a typical whole food breakfast right after. Then it's on to the rest of my day. I too have noticed that I'm hungrier the rest of the day after a workout.


I usually despise morning workouts as my energy/strength levels are lacking but sometimes with my schedule they are a must. With Bill's outline above, it makes them MUCH better as my energy levels have increased an amazing amount after using a similar protocol.

good luck


You need 2 Spike? Holy crap man. Just one of those things gets me alert like never before...


Yeah, unfortunately. I went an entire week on one capsule per day and didn't feel crap. Two had me rockin pretty good though. I've always had a high tolerance for stimulants. I get attentuation with Spike after a few weeks also and need to take a week off before the effects come back.


I've been waking at 4:00 am to workout before work for years. Nutritionally, I try to follow Barardi's massive eating template. I always have a Low-Carb Grow! before going to bed. I add a Tablespoon of flax oil to the shake. First thing in the morning I take whatever T-boost supplement stack I'm using. Currently using Alpha Male and Carbolin 19. I follow that with a cup of coffee and just relax for 15-20 minutes. I then down a tablespoon of flax oil while preparing my PWO drinks. I mix my own, but generally follow the Surge formula plus 5 grams creatine. I just prepare the powders for two one liter PWO's. I head out for a 10 minute walk/light jog. After that I add the water to one drink and start drinking it. I then start what I call my morning "get vertical warm-up." I leisurely take about 20 minutes doing some dynamic mobility exercises and some band movements while setting up the weights for the morning routine. I move into my weight warmup for whatever DE or ME movement I'm doing (powerlifting -- westside). By the time I get the weight up to my target resistance level the first PWO is gone. I make up the second and drink it throughout the rest of my workout. After the workout, I prepare everything for breakfast -- 60/60/10 P/C/F profile. I take a shower and get dressed and then cook breakfast. I usually eat about 45-60 minutes after completing the workout and my 2nd PWO. Seems to work well for me. 2-3 hours later I follow that up with a 30/30/5 snack. At that point I begin transitioning out the carbs and bringing up the fat for the remainder of the day.


My god rmetz that routine is IDENTICAL to mine, even down to the macro breakdowns of the two solid pwo meals. You my friend just freaked me the f@#k OUT!