29 January 2008

I have a question.

Do you guys eat before your morning workout? If so, what? And how much before??

This is a topic I've been struggling with for some time now and I still don't have a good answer. When I was huge and had just started moving, I didn't eat before working out. I did it first thing in the morning, still do, and basically just didn't have time to eat first. So I would work out and then eat after. I lost 75 lbs that way. I also wasn't exercising more than an hour at a time, usually it was 30-45 minutes.

As I got fitter and was working out more, I would be hungry when I woke up. I started eating 1/2 a banana as soon as I got up and then worked out. That seemed to work out well for a while. Then I started reading.

I got all caught up in the eat or don't eat debate. I read a lot of experts saying you have to eat before working out or you body won't burn fat. Others said if you worked out less than an hour it wasn't necessary to eat first, unless you were hungry. Still others said your body will go into starvation mode if you work out on an empty stomach and you'll actually burn muscle instead of fat. While still others said you should actually fast 1 or 2 days a week.

I started drinking a protein shake before I worked out, but that really didn't sit well in my stomach. I moved the shake to after I worked out but that wasn't so hot either. Recently I've just been paying attention to my body. If I'm hungry before I workout I eat a little something. If I'm not hungry I don't. It seems to be working okay, but I wonder what everyone else does. On the weekends, when I do long runs or rides, I always eat a regular breakfast before hand. Since those usually start later in the morning, I'm able to eat before I head out.

So you morning exercisers, what do you eat and when??? Thanks.

On to other things. I ran this morning. It seems like I haven't run in weeks and weeks. That's not true, but that's how it felt. It also felt really good. I did 40 minutes and about 3.8 miles (that's pretty good, huh??).


Anna said...

I do. I have some oatmeal and give myself about 30 minutes afterward to let my stomach . um . . work.

Unknown said...

half a bagel with peanut butter is what i eat before morning workouts.

Works for me...

Comm's said...

I usually don't for pre dawn runs but do for everything else. For the running I am more concerned about cleaning out my system not putting in. if you catch my drift.

each of us has about 2000 of stored energy, much more than is needed for an hour or so of moderate exercise. Make sure you eat well after though.

Fe-lady said...

If it's a short run (3-6 miles) I don't eat, but take a GU for the half-way point of the six miler. Anything longer and I have a bowl of instant oatmeal (maple brown sugar and half a banana).
I definitely eat before longer bike rides...add a bagel with cream cheese to the above meal.
Of course I pig out when I get home...my problem is not diving into the salty chips after a long workout!
Good pace for your mileage!
P.S. Everyone is different, but yes, if you DON'T eat your metabolism just shuts off and doesn't burn cal.

Dances with Corgis said...

it might be mental, but I throw down a SMALL handful of raisins and I feel that gives me energy for running before I head out the door.

Very small- like 5-10 raisins total. it's convenient because they never go bad.

Lindsay Margenau said...

I always ate a yogurt before working out - I figured the protein was good for burning calories, but it wasn't too heavy and wouldn't sit in my stomach. Then I had a regular breakfast after.

Pokey said...

Hey Flo - I am a morning non-eater...not sure if that is the *right* thing or not, but it has worked for me over the alternatives.

On a long run morning, my pre-run intake consists of coffee (usually the canned, iced Starbucks variety....I'm addicted so I HAVE to drink it so I dont get a headache) and a packet of Gu, usually chocolate :) Sounds like the breakfast of champions, eh?

Well, for my two HM's I felt like I *should* eat something better - so I tried to choke down half a bagel, and it just didnt feel right.

So I guess I'm not much help, just giving you the lowdown on how I operate. I firmly believe that for a HM - for the length of time it takes me to finish - that my body needs more than just coffee and Gu....but at the same time, those items have done well for me for long runs of up to 11 miles.

I think it's all about experimentation and figuring out what works best for YOU.

Irene said...

I eat about an hour or more before working out, but I keep it really simple, like toast and coffee, or a very small bowl (1/2 C)of cereal with soy milk and 1/2 banana. I run out of energy too fast if I workout or run in a fasted state. I just can't do it.

Julia said...

I eat about an hour before running - usually plain oatmeal - not a lot, maybe half a cup. Plus I drink a couple of mugs of tea. Pretty standard for me day in and day out.

I think you just have to see what works best for you. And that may change every once in awhile, as you've already seen.

GetBackJoJo said...

I don't eat if I am working out early, and I always feel weak half way through the workout as a result. If you have the time for it, I'd eat. Sometimes I'll take a gel with me or something, and down it ten minutes into a run or ride. That helps, even thought the last thing you want that early is GEL. Yuck!

Dr. Iron TriFeist :) said...

OK, I'm jumping in late. I know.

I can't eat before running or swimming. Just coffee. For runs over 90 minutes, I bring Gu along.

If it's a bike ride, my breakfast is one piece of peanut butter toast.


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