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Should I eat breakfast before my morning workouts?

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I'm 22, female, overweight but not obese. I'm calorie counting and exercising to lose weight.

I like to run at least an hour on a regular basis and on some days do weight lifting. Since I need to change my schedule, I would have to work out in the morning. Should I eat breakfast or hold off until my workout? I look up articles and they seem to argue for both sides of the issue - so confusing! :S

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Give both options a try, see which works better for you.

The middle ground is what works for me  about half a breakfast before workout and about half after. A little in your stomach to stave off hunger and not too much to cause upset stomach

It makes for a very small difference at the margins of competitive athletic performance, so unless you're planning on competing in running I'd just try both ways and see which one works better for you. Personally I bonk like a mo'fo if I try fasted anything, but I know it works for some.

 For strength training specifically, fasted training is pretty much a no-go. But you don't have to eat a full breakfast, chug some milk and scarf an egg before and then eat the rest of it afterwards and you'll be fine.

Well, if you want to be Melkor about it you can read the What (and when) to eat before/after a workout? thread but realistically, following the guidelines exactly is only of benefit to competitive athletes so as long as you're getting your macro-nutrients through your day there's not much reason to bother taking special care around workouts until you start training for a competition you want to win.

Another vote for try both and do what works best for you.

Personally, if I'm going out for an hour of fairly intense cycling early I'll just have banana and some caffeine before I start and the eat breakfast after.  But if I'm going to be out for a few hours I'll eat a full breakfast first and I'll eat something during the exercise as well.

Everyone is different.  My husband works out hard on an empty stomach.  I on the otherhand don't seem to have the energy to workout without eating something, even if it is just an orange or some berries before.  I wait about 20 minutes after eating to work out and seem to do fine.

I second trh 

Anything less than an hour, I will just have a glass of water.

1 to 2 hours, I will have a 200-300 calorie snack.

Over 2 hours, I will get up early just to eat beforehand.

After my  workout, that is when I eat.

Long story short: Do what works for you and your body!

I do my workouts fasted. As soon as I've gone to the bathroom and put on my workout clothes I'm upstairs doing my P90X. I don't always have the willpower to work out later in the day so I know working in the morning is best for me. If I were to eat I'd have to wait an hour before working out and that means waking up earlier than I can handle. I eat well at night so I don't have any problems with energy in the morning.

I need food before a workout. So it depends how much time I have. If it's a full meal (I treat breakfast like lunch or dinner -- I have grains, meat, veggies), I need two hours to digest before a workout. If it's bread (like a ham and cheese sandwich), I need an hour. If I only have half an hour to spare, I drink milk and a piece of toast and just eat a proper meal after.

If I don't give myself enough time to digest, I feel sluggish, heavy, and, occasionally, nauseated, during the workout.

For me it depends on my dinner last night lol but there are days were I need protein before my work out, like a shake or even a protein bar.
Original Post by baltimoreamt:

The middle ground is what works for me  about half a breakfast before workout and about half after. A little in your stomach to stave off hunger and not too much to cause upset stomach


10 Replies