T Nation

Early Morning Pre-WO Nutrition


So... I need some tips and advice.

With my schedule I have about 30-40 minutes tops from the time I wake up to the time I plan to hit the gym. I typically get up just before 4:00am, knock back some Power Drive & HOT-ROX and hit the pool for a fasted, moderate pace swim from 4:30 until 5 or 5:30 depending on the day.

What I'd like to do is take up some of that "swim time" on two or three of the days to incorporate more weights work and move some of that cardio time to the evenings when I can get a walk or lightweight/bodyweight complex in without worrying about it being peak gym time for everyone else.

My question is this: what would be the best thing for me to consume so I'm not lifting in a fasted state? I'm assuming it would be a shake of some sort, but I'm wondering if there are better choices I could make than a whey drink or some such.

Does anyone else work out insanely early like this, and - if so - what do you eat and when?


BCAAs before lifting would go a long way


Here's what I do:

3:30am: 5 mile run

Immediately after run: cup of milk and .5 scoop whey

5am: 5 whole eggs, 1 white; spinach, peas, onions in a scramble, with 1-1.5 cups cottage cheese and .5 scoop whey
2 cans tuna

5:30: creatine and .5 scoop whey
5:45 hit gym ready to work. At the 45 minute mark, I begin drinking 1.5 scoops whey in water.

PWO: 1L of milk with 2 scoops whey.

Works for me.


Holy cow. that seems like a bunch of food just 45 minute before your workout. Your stomach doesn't give you problems during your workout? I wouldn't even be done eating all that until close to 5:30 probably. That's hardcore.


I mean to say that I finish eating at around 5. No, it doesn't give me problems. I wake up feeling a bit of hunger, then I run 5 miles, so my body is ready to take in food. In fact, I really don't even feel full or anything after that breakfast. Around the 45 minute mark of my workout, I start drinking just to preempt any potential hunger or anything that might crop up.


The other thing is that I really prefer having my day this way. I'm a huge believer in eating a lot around the workout. I HATE having to wait for the gym to open on weekends. In fact, I'm still working out my perfect weekend nutrition.


I'm the same way. And, also, I think more and more I'm just a morning person. I get up and I'm ready to go. I also like to front load my calories earlier in the day and taper off with smaller and smaller meals as the day wears on... so an earlier workout plays right into that, too.


You don't have to eat before exercise. Some guys are finding that they perform better "fasted" rather than eating a meal prior. Martin Berkhan has had an influence and people are starting to realize the old rules don't apply. I would tend to believe that fasted training would be beneficial because of a higher level of concentration. Like Chillian said, have some bcaa's before and maybe a small amount of simple carbs in liquid form. My .02

However, after training I don't believe in continuing the fast and take advantage of "the nutrient window".


I used to work out first thing in the morning (within 30 minuets of waking up) I usually kept breakfast simple 20-30g Protein (usually some sort of omlett (prepared ahead of time and frozen)) and a piece of fruit (apple, orange, handfull of strawberries). Durring the workout I would drink a protein shake. Post workout, within an hour, I would eat another 20-30g of protein along with another piece of fruit and some complex carbs for recovery. Just experiment and findout what works for you, Good Luck


I agree. If i don't have time to eat before the gym...i won't eat before the gym. It's that simple really, you better believe post workout i make up for not eating beforehand though. Lol