Early Morning Eats
When athletes are waking up early in the morning to go to a workout, many of them aren’t hungry so they don’t eat anything before leaving their home. The problem with this is the body needs fuel to help push the athlete through the workout and help them perform at their highest level. Eating carbohydrates before an early morning workout helps to raise blood sugar to keep the athlete from feeling sluggish or tired and also will fuel the muscles so they can last through a lift or run. Adding protein to the pre-workout snack has also been shown boost performance and help muscles better recover post-workout. However, adding protein to a pre-workout snack may seem too heavy for someone who is not as hungry right when they wake up.
Here are some ideas of what an athlete can eat on the go before the workout that won’t make them feel overly full or upset their stomach:
· ½ Banana + 1Tbsp peanut butter
· Slice of Whole Wheat Toast or small tortilla with 2 slices turkey
· 1/2c Granola
· 1c Cereal (milk optional, depends on if it causes stomach pain)
· ½ bagel + 1 Tbsp. light cream cheese or peanut butter
· Whole Wheat English Muffin + 1 Tbsp. peanut butter
· Granola bar
· A handful or ~ ¼ cup of nuts and dried fruit: pistachios, walnuts, almonds, pecans, peanuts, dried apricots, dried blueberries, raisins, Craisins, dried mango, etc.
· Low fat yogurt topped with ¼ cup of whole grain cereal and/or fruit
· Small bowl of oatmeal
· Sports drink such as PowerAde
The key to pre-workout fuel is to experiment with various foods and decide which ones give you the most sustained energy without upsetting your stomach. A small pre-workout snack should be consumed at least 30 minutes before the workout. The larger the meal or snack gets, increase the amount of time from consumption to workout. Now, wake up and get to fueling!
Contributed by Lauren Silvio, RD