T Nation

Early Morning Workout Dilemma

I get up at 4:45 am to work out. I have no other option. I usually train for approximately one hour on an empty stomach. I only intake a lot of water. I would like to try to eat something immediately prior to the workout, or during to get some protein in me. The first meal I usually have is my post-workout meal. Would it be beneficial to slug down some myoplex lo-carb or some other protein drink, or should I get some high GI carbs instead?

i workout at 5:00am myself, so i know your situation. try to ingest some quality protein prior to your workout. not a lot (100-200 cals) cuz you don’t want to weigh yourself down. eat just enough to get your system up and running and so that you have some protein ready for mobilization upon completing your workout. i personally can’t eat any hi GI carbs prior but you might be different. experiment and see what works for you.

Try a Gatorade energy bar, It’s small so it shouldnt over-fill you.

I would go with a simple carb meal or drink. Actually a drink would be your best bet unless you goal is fat loss then I would not eat or drink anything but water.

You didn’t say how much time you have between when you wake up and when you train but if it’s not at least an hour then eating will probably not do you much good. You could take some Glutamine along with some BCAA’s in place of the food.

I noticed that this topic has come up a few times and there may be a LITTLE confusion. I think that if you do RESISTANCE training early in the a.m., I think doing it on an empty stomach is NEVER recommended. (Usually 1/2 of an MRP or a protein shake and some oatmeal are the basic reccommendations I’ve seen, and it appears to work well for a lot of people).

However, if CARDIO is what you do in the a.m., without resistance training, whether or not you do it on an empty stomach has been a subject of heated debate on this site. (I do early moring Cardio on an empty stomach).

So Steve, for you…a small amout of protein and carbs should do the trick…

I work out in the morning as well, and I’ve found a big glass of milk (skim) works pretty well. Protein and simple carbs.

i got to go with kelly bagget here. Drink several servings of grape glutacene (or glutacene clone) before you work out and drink another 2 or 3 servings during the workout. Have a PW shake 30 min after. You might want to mix some table sugar in though with the pre-workout drink, or drink like 4 servings before, then the glutamine can convert to glucose. You can make your own “glutacene” but i bought some BCAAS plain from protein factory, and they are very very bitter.

Here is the optimal scenario…

  1. Eat some protein only immediately upon waking…a scoop or two of powder should be fine. Alternatively, you could have some hardboiled eggs waiting for you and eat them.
  2. When beginning your workout, begin to sip a scoop of gatorade powder with 5g glutamine and 5g BCAA 1L water.
  3. After training, do your pw shake.

I like 150-200g of lean steak before an early morning workout. Just like CP recommends