T Nation

When To Eat

I lift in the mornings before work and generally feel weak because I’m just waking up and going to the gym without eating beforehand. I guess I’m looking for the general consensus on how soon before a workout I can eat something light and expect to have it available to my muscles so I don’t keep wearing out so quickly. Also, what are you eating before you go to the gym? Thanks in advance.

I eat about an hour before I go to the gym in the morning. Most of the time, it is 1 cup of oatmeal and a scoop of protein powder.

It sounds like you don’t have enough time in the morning to even do this. You could probably slap together a quick carb+protein shake, something like Surge, to drink on your way to the gym, and to sip while you’re working out.

I would recommend starting slow when adding meals just before workouts. Add calories a little at a time, until you find out what your stomach can handle.

Either way, try your best to get something in you, because you’re going to the gym after coming off 6-8 hours of fasting, depending on how long you sleep. That is a bad thing for many reasons.

Good Luck

Well depends on how much time you are talking here. I workout in the AM as well but make sure to get up so as to have 2 hrs before I go w/o. But I love my morning time.

If you only have a few minutes then I still suggest getting something. Some protein in you. You are catabolic upon waking and you are adding to that by working out in a fasted state. NOT GOOD.

Power Drive is your friend. I just tried this stuff a few months back and wow dont know how I made it without it. It’ll get you in the zone for your w/o. Another great thing would be Surge. With your schedule I would change it up a bit. Take a half serving (1 scoop) on the way to the gym. This will have a nice dose of Protein and carbs to get you going and out of your catabolic state.

Then drink your other half during your w/o to keep you from getting the inevitable carb crash. By drinking it during you should have energy throughout and be hand over fist ahead of the game on switching from the catabolic state brought on by the lifting to an anabolic state.

After w/o couple of things you could do. Either another scoop of Surge or go for your first whole food meal of the day. The whole food route is the way I go. Get some carbs and protein. Limit the fats to nil. I usually do like some oats , fruit, and cottage cheese or Grow!. Or a low fat ham, cheese, and veggie omelete and toast with some fruit.

Hope that helps.

Oh, and you can mix that Power Drive in the pre W/O scoop of Surge. It’s a great pick me up as well. Better yet, have it Right when you wake up so it has a bit to kick in. I have even mixed it in my morning coffee. Kinda strange but works.

Phill

I’m in the same situation, I start my workouts at 5:30am, which means that in order to get as much sleep as possible I don’t wake up until 4:45 (which often turns into 5:00 :)), so my time is limited. I have been using a normal sports drink similar to Gatorade to get some carbs into me but since reading T-mag I’ve quickly learnt that I need to get the protein into me as well.

Unfortunately Surge is very expensive here in Australia so I’m thinking of trying what seems to be a similar sort of p+c drink (the nutritional profile looks similar) made over here. I think that it would be your best bet to use a drink like this. I’ll let you know if trying a different drink makes a difference to my workouts.

Ben

The most important thing about workouts in the early morning is getting a good night’s sleep. You should wake up on you own before the alarm.

What I did was wake up a half-hour before the workout, get a small cup of sweet coffee with cream and put on some weightlifting videos. During the half hour I got so pumped up and ready for action that the workouts were great.

Your stomach has to be empty and you should feel light, but not hungry. That’s why my coffee is sweet - to kill the hunger. And that’s why the cup is small - to not fill up my stomach and interfere with the workout.