Exercising first thing in the morning is one of the best habits you can get into! When you wake up and jump on your Total Gym it can help to speed up your metabolism, regulate your appetite and start your day off with a great accomplishment! However, what to eat to fuel your workout can seem a bit confusing. Here are some tips to get the most out of your Total Gym workout and be energized for the rest of the day!
When should you eat?
Typically it takes food about 45 minutes to digest so I suggest eating small meal 45 minutes to an hour before you work out. Although that may seem like a lot of time early in the morning, if you eat a small snack when you first wake up you should find that 45 minutes flies by as you are putting on your workout clothes, brushing your teeth and stretching.
How much should you eat?
For the typical 45-60 minute Total Gym workout, your pre-workout snack should be about 200 calories. This will give you enough fuel to energize your workout but not so much so your body feels sluggish because it is using so much energy digesting.
What should you eat?
When it comes to energy, carbohydrates are your best friend! They break down quickly so your body can use the fuel to energize your workout first thing in the morning. However, not all carbohydrates were created equal. Although your body may crave high sugar carbohydrates such as pastries or muffins when you are tired, you will find that this gives you short-term energy but it burns up well before you are done with your workout. Think back to those days where you started your workout feeling like a rock star only to collapse halfway through!
Instead, choose lower glycemic carbohydrates like whole grains or fruit and be sure to combine it with a little protein for long-term energy. Here are some of my favorite examples:
• 1 slice whole wheat toast, 1 tbsp. almond butter, ½ banana
• 6 oz. plain yogurt and ½ cup fresh berries
• 1 apple & 10 cashews
• 1 scoop protein powder, 4 oz. fresh fruit or vegetable juice, 4 oz. water
Should I drink water before a morning workout?
Another factor when it comes to a high-energy workout is hydration. Being dehydrated can make you feel sluggish, dizzy and negatively impact your morning workout. However, if you drink a lot of water with your morning snack you may find that it makes you feel bloated. This is because it can dilute the digestive enzymes in your stomach and make it harder to turn the food into fuel. Instead of chugging water with your pre-workout snack, I suggest waiting about 20 minutes after you eat and then having 8-16oz. of water. This will keep you hydrated but prevent that bloated stomach feeling!
The important thing to remember is that everyone is different, especially when it comes to what they can eat before they exercise. Use these ideas as a starting point and tweak it until you find what works best for you. If you have any pre-workout meals or tips that energize your workout I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
Article first appeared on www.totalgymdirect.com.