T Nation

Morning HIIT


I’ve started doing HIIT like the 400m sprints reccomended on Tmag, whilst these are royally kicking me in the butt I have a question about doing HIIT in the morning on an empty stomach. Anyway the thing is I am fine running 100m sprints for the most part but if i push myself hard or go about 200+ meters i feel like my lungs and stomach are burning and im gonna puke up. I dunno if this is cos i do it on an empty stomach as it feels very acidic. Only thing i take before it is an ECA stack with 1/2 a cup of coffee (black)

any ideas?

Im planning on doing the same thing starting next week! I was gonna start doing research on the best ways to do this. I plan on doing it with 200mg of caffeine and power drive 30 minutes before I head out to the gym. Once done I plan on using 100mg r-ala then twenty minutes later eat a promax bar. Any input on this subject is greatly appreciated.

If your interested? Im planning on using the treadmill, jump rope, and stairmaster four days a week.

Treadmill - 20 minutes 5min. warmup and cool down
1 minute 5mph, 1 minute 11mph (5sprints)
or 20sec. 12mph, 10sec step-off for a total of 16 sprints or 8 minutes

Stairmaster same as above
1m level 5, 1m level 15(5sprints)

Jump Rope 24minutes
3m jumps, 1minute gpp and/or
KB swings

Da Boxer


regardless of what type of training you do you should eat before you train.

I eat P+F. Wait 2 hrs. Then go run sprints.

Caffeine increases the acidity of your stomach, which can be the cause of your stomach aches. I’ve had the same problem where if I take only a fatburner before lifting, my stomach hurts and I feel like I’m gonna puke. Eat a little something before you do it, say, half a scoop of whey. It’ll make you feel good too.

I have a cup of cofee (black, no sugar) upon waking regardless of the time before HIIT (normally 45-60 mins) then have 1/2 serve of PP 30 mins pre HIIT, straight after I’ll finish the rest of the PP with 1 tablespoon of glucose added. Shower while oatmeal is cooking, consume that and good to go.

I do my HIIT right in the morning, I just have a scoop of LC Grow and hit the gym. 30 min. should be enough time before hand to have the shake and rip it up.

A trainer once told me (while on Meltdown Training) that the feeling that you’re going to puke can be caused by either 1. lactic acid buildup, and also 2. severe hypoglycemia.

Probably, it is both for you as well. Having some carbs before the workout took away the desire to puke for me.

I’ve talked about fasted state morning cardio a number of times on the forum; here is a section of a recent article of mine:

This is probably the most confusing and misunderstood topic when speaking of matters of active nutrition?when is the best time to consume a meal in relation to cardiovascular activity? In order to answer this question, we must consider the most favorable way to:

 Maximize performance- Now, you may be thinking “I don’t care about performance; I’m not competing in a race; I just want to lose fat!” This is a very common attitude; however, it’s not a very smart one. Exercise intensity is directly related to the amount of calories and fat you burn as a result of a given workout. If your performance is suffering from a lack of proper nutrition, you won’t be losing fat at an optimal rate; period.
 Optimize fat loss- Obviously, we don’t want to hinder the amount of fat lost either during or after the exercise session; therefore, we have to consider whether the method we choose to supplement in has any adverse effects on fat loss.
 Minimize muscle loss- Many times trainees will compromise large amounts of hard-earned muscle mass while dieting. A major contributor to this sad occurrence is the failure to appropriately time meals to combat the catabolic influences of exercise.

Now, it was originally thought that while consuming a meal before exercise may have a positive effect on performance, it would certainly have an adverse effect on the amount of fat lost as a result of that session. Consequently, consuming a meal prior to exercise was frowned upon and performing cardio in a fasted state became the staple recommendation to optimize fat loss. However, all theory aside, research has shown this not to be the case. Let’s take a look:

Study #1 - Cardiovascular and metabolic responses during 30 minutes of treadmill exercise shortly after consuming a small, high-carbohydrate meal.

Diboll DC, Boone WT, Lindsey LR. Int J Sports Med 1999 Aug;20(6):384-9

Procedure: Subjects either fasted or consumed a small, high-carbohydrate meal prior to 30 minutes of treadmill running.

Results: The researchers found no difference between groups in energy substrate utilization during exercise (i.e. the amount of fat vs carbohydrates used during exercise).

Study #2 - Respiratory gas-exchange ratios during graded exercise in fed and fasted trained and untrained men.

Bergman BC, Brooks GA. J Appl Physiol 1999 Feb;86(2):479-87.

Procedure: Subjects exercised after either an overnight fast or three hours after breakfast.

Results: There were no differences in substrate utilization during exercise when working at moderate to high intensities.

Study #3 - The effect of a preexercise meal on time to fatigue during prolonged cycling exercise.

Schabort EJ, Bosch AN, Weltan SM, Noakes TD. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1999 Mar;31(3):464-71

Procedure: Subjects exercised in a fasted state or 3 hours after consuming 100g of carbohydrates.

Results: It took longer for those who consumed the carbohydrates to fatigue, and again, no difference in substrate utilization during exercise.

As you can see, consuming a small meal prior to exercise will likely improve your performance and will not adversely effect the amount of fat burned during your session. Also, it should be noted that performing cardio in a fasted state is very catabolic not only to fat stores, but also to muscle protein. Continual use of such a method will likely cause lean tissue loss, especially when constantly in a state of negative calorie balance (as is the case when dieting).

Another common recommendation has been to wait an hour after exercise before eating in order to take advantage of the substantial increase in metabolism that occurs as a result of high intensity exercise. This hypothesis was recently studied by Dr. Lee and the Department of Exercise Science at the University of Se Jong in Seul, Korea. He and his research team founded that those subjects who consumed a protein and carbohydrate beverage actually increased the amount of calories burned during the hour post exercise while still having no effect on substrate utilization. Also, proper post workout nutrition will help prevent lean muscle mass from being catabolized and used as energy during this time frame.

Hopefully by now it should be easy to see that consuming meals both prior to and immediately following intense exercise is the best way to 1) maximize performance, 2) optimize fat loss, and 3) minimize muscle loss.



what if I don’t have that three hour period before I am able to perform my morning cardio. I love running before work, and lifting after work. All the studies were based on the groups eating 3 hours before they trained. If I plan to run at 5a.m. there’s no way I can three hours before that unless I set up my alarm and chug a shake? that would suck. What do you recommend?

Da Boxer

There was actually one study in which subjects consumed glucose and milk immediatly pre exercise, and again, no difference in substrate utlization…the bottom line is that consuming a meal prior to exercise is not going to affect RER values or have a detrimental effect on EPOC.

This is what I recommend:

For all workouts, pre-cardio nutrition can be as simple as consuming a small whole food meal containing both protein and moderate GI carbohydrates about an hour prior to your session. An example of this would be to have a cup of oatmeal along with eight egg whites at 7am and then your session at 8am. If wanting to perform the cardio sooner after your meal, then choose something that is more rapidly digested, such as 1/2 serving of classic GROW with a cup of skim milk; this can be consumed 1/2 hour prior to your session.

I hate to get HIT in the morning. I dont like getting hit at all much less in the morning.

Boxer Al…Follow Brent’s recs, then, for pre-HIIT feeding. As far as after, what the hell’s up with the Promax bar? How 'bout some quality protein, my friend!

Da Joel (great to see you around, buddy!) presented some interesting and thorough information. While I’m still firmly entrenched that pre-exercise carbohydrate feedings suppress lipolysis, this really doesn’t need to be considered when we talk HIIT. Why?

Well, carbohydrate, predominantly muscle glycogen, will be the primary substrate during high-intensity exercise. Therefore, there is very little fat–either from adipose tissue or intramuscular stores–broken down for use anyway.

Of particular concern is the fact that high-intensity exercise will act as an accelerated fast. That is, the actions of insulin on the muscle may very well be worn off by the high-intensity exercise such that one is able to return to maximum lipolysis and fat oxidation after exercise.

One final note about pre-exercise carbohydrate feedings. Make sure you’re taking in enough! Why? Well, since you’ll be inhibiting lipolysis, you have to compensate for the loss of energy derived from fat. Therefore, blood glucose utilization is going to increase. If you don’t supply enough carbohydrate in your meal, you will not have adequate blood glucose. In turn, you will not only become hypoglycemic, you will also rely more heavily upon muscle glycogen!

I feel ya there Boxer and I’ve just been doing the scoop of LC Grow. I’m curious what Joel would say too.

I can definately do the scoop of low carb grow!

Timbo, the promax bar idea is just simple for me, I have a grip of these wonderful treats. The protein isn’t all that bad, mostly concentrates but does include isolates and hydrolyzed whey. Been using them after boxing practices for about five months now, don’t mess with my head now, I’d hate to hear "Imagine how much better you’d be if you would have drank SURGE!!!"

Thanks for the help fellas, starting monday.

Da Boxer

There’s a study I could track down if anyone’s interested that shows pre workout whey preserves lipolysis while sparing LMB vs. Carbs which don’t preserve lipolysis.

This is why before morning HIIT I take about 25g whey + 5g glutamine. I really don’t think anything more is necessary to stop catabolism.

I’d be interested in seeing that study :slight_smile: