Nutrition can be very overwhelming. In fact, the countless food options and a wide array of supplements can leave us confused about what we should eat and how to utilize food. If you’re hitting the gym prior to going to school or work your food choices may be slightly different as you probably do not want to spend half an hour cooking your oats.
In this article, I will cover a few food options that you can easily utilize as your pre-workout meal. Even though we all like to eat different foods, I will try to be objective and consider a variety of goals, dieting techniques, and more to help you select your best pre-workout breakfast!
Morning Workout Nutrition
First things first, you need to look into your own fitness progress and ask yourself what goals you have. Are you trying to lose body fat, get shredded, or you don’t mind packing a few extra calories into your meal plan? Based on your current goals, the food options will vary accordingly as you will have different macronutrient requirements for different lifting goals. But now, let’s check out some simple and effective morning pre-workout ideas that you can utilize with ease!
#1 Morning Protein Shake
For those of you who have difficulty turning on the “strength” button without consuming anything, a combination of some carbs along with a serving of Impact Whey Protein and some fruit blended up may be the way to go! One of the great things about a morning protein shake is the convenience and the amount of time it takes to prepare – almost zero!
Simply blend your favorite protein powder, 2 handfuls of frozen mixed berries, and ½ a cup of oats with some water and you’re good to go! Consume it about 20-30 minutes prior to your gruelling session.
#2 High Protein Yogurt Blast!
There is just something simple and delicious about Greek yogurt mixed with some protein granola and fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, or raspberries. These easy parfaits can be prepared in no time and are a relatively low-calorie, high protein snack packed with flavor, carbs from the fruits, and the power you need to get you through the morning lifting session! Greek yogurt is definitely one of my go-to food choices whenever I need some healthy energy before my workout.
Note: If you just don’t feel like eating too much in the morning, you can try to consume cut up fruits such as apples, bananas, strawberries & other types of berries, or oranges. These healthy carbs are packed with micronutrients and fiber to keep you full and energized!
#3 Veggie Omelette
If your goal is to keep your daily calories to a bare minimum, but at the same time you want to eat high protein meals, omelettes are a great option. They are also an amazing way to get some micronutrients in your diet from vegetables. Once again, omelettes are one of my favorite morning foods to eat due to the simplicity of preparation and the nutrient value.
You can use a combination of egg whites and egg yokes, or whole eggs if you prefer, with some cut up vegetables such as mushrooms, bell peppers, and spinach. Get yourself a slice of whole-wheat bread to go along with the omelette to add some carbs to the meal and consider eating a serving of fruit if desired.
#4 Fasted Workout?
Maybe your current schedule consists of a fasting regime and you are used to working out on an empty stomach. If you don’t actually mind working out without eating food pre-workout, it can be beneficial to your fat loss efforts, as your body will try to utilize the energy from your body’s fat stores.
However, if food is not a necessity for your morning routine, make sure you stay on track with your hydration from the very start of your day! Water is absolutely essential for keeping your body healthy and running at the optimal level, so grab that bottle and support your body with plenty of hydration throughout the day!
#5 Instant Oats
If you’re one of those people who doesn’t have time to prepare breakfast in the morning, then instant oats are the answer. These oats have been ground down into a fine powder meaning they can be added to a protein shaker of milk or water for a convenient high carbohydrate breakfast drink. Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source of energy, so instant oats are a great way to fuel your morning workout.
Morning Nutrition Mistakes
As a rule of thumb, fats are not the greatest option in regards to a pre-workout meal. Fats take long periods of time to digest so it may be a good thing to avoid the PBJ snack right before stepping on the deadlift platform. Also, while searching for the right energy-boosting foods, try to stay away from highly processed foods, candy, or chocolate bars but rather aim for healthier foods with a good macronutrient value and fiber.
Take Home Message
One of the greatest obstacles for my personal fitness journey has been figuring out the right combinations of foods and ingredients that my body benefits from the most. In the mornings it is no different. Some of you may not have enough time to cook as you try to get to the gym as soon as you can.
I would advise you to experiment with a variety of meal options such as smoothies, juices, protein shakes, or meals prepared the night before like overnight oatmeal, yogurt snacks etc. Finding the right balance of macro-friendly foods that you will benefit from is the key to an enjoyable and successful fitness journey! So find out what works for you, explore some new meal options and knock off that next morning workout like never before!