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Question about early morning workouts

Today I went to the gym before work, which I have never done before but I want to start doing it sometimes since it works out well for my schedule some days. But my question is, how do you do breakfast? I can't go work out on an empty stomach, but I also don't know if eating a full breakfast (which for me is a bowl of cereal usually) right before I go is a good idea. This morning I had a granola bar on my way over there, and water, and then I had my cereal when I got home. It seemed to work fine but I just wondered if other people could share what they do and/or what you have heard is good to do.

Kate (kissmekate02)

Mon. Sep 19, 9:04am

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What a coincidence...

Funny that you just posted this Kate, because I just opened an e-mail from SELF magazine about this. Here it is...

fitness tip
There is a prevailing misconception that cardio is most effective first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, the theory being that since you haven't eaten, you'll use fat stores for energy. This is absolutely untrue. Don't worry about where the calories for your workouts come from. The point is to burn the calories, no matter what. Working out on an empty stomach will only ensure that you feel more tired and quit sooner than you would if you ate a little something (like a piece of fruit) first thing. -Jillian Michaels, personal trainer and author of Winning By Losing (HarperCollins)

Hope that helped a little.


Monday, September 19, 2005, 9:46 AM

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I love working out in the morning cause it gives me energy for the rest of the day and I notice when I work out in the am I eat better all day. I usually grab a banana or a protein bar and eat it on the way. Then an hour or so after I have a light snack followed by lunch. It works for me.

Monday, September 19, 2005, 11:13 AM

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It depends on the individual. I don't like to eat before my morning cardio because it makes me feel sick. However, there are days when I feel like I do need a bit of something (usually fruit) before intense training. I think the best bet is to understand our bodies, monitor our performance and see what works best for each of us. Everyone is different. In addition, I do agree with the second posting above; calories burned are calories used - it doesn't matter where it comes from - exercise itself is the best thing we could all do for our bodies, anyway.

Monday, September 19, 2005, 12:40 PM

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Jillian Michaels is the trainer from The Biggest Loser, right? I like her.
I eat my breakfast and have my coffee before I go to the gym. I almost always have yogurt and granola. I eat a small amount (made even smaller by my vulture-children wanting bites), but it's so energizing that it takes me through until lunch. And it's light enough that I don't feel it sitting in the pitt of my stomach, like something heavier would make me feel.
Tiffany (tnt0617)

Monday, September 19, 2005, 1:25 PM

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in the a.m.

I have been working out in the evenings lately because I have such a long commute to work, but when I used to run in the mornings I would eat plain crackers... enough until I didn't feel empty. It takes the edge off. I'd eat a regular breakfast later, after a shower or a cool down. I get sick if I eat a full breakfast and then exercise, but the crackers worked for 4 solid years! My sister did the same thing!

Friday, January 05, 2007, 12:06 PM

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I like an apple or a banana in the morning before I workout. It gives me a little something in my stomach so I don't feel empty but no so much that I have to stop midway through the workout and throw up and then I eat something a little more substantial after I shower!

Friday, January 05, 2007, 12:36 PM

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I can never eat before exercising in the morning, but if I'm doing a long run on the weekends (7 miles or more), I will make myself have 1/4 c of oatmeal. Otherwise, I just drink plenty of water and Gatorade before running. If I run in the evenings, I never eat anything afterwards. I don't know why, but I just cannot stomach it.
Beth (babooshka)

Friday, January 05, 2007, 12:51 PM

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I feel faint or light-headed with morning workouts. My doctor said that, in my case, it's a low-blood-sugar problem. He suggested eating some protein and fat before my morning workouts and that peanut butter would be ideal. So I fix a peanut butter sandwich or spread some peanut butter on crackers. Works for me.

Friday, January 05, 2007, 12:52 PM

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In the book Body for Life, Bill Phillips recommends drinking water only, then doing morning cardio, then waiting no more than one hour before eating.

I have used this approach and found it very successful. I disagree with the SELF article.

Some people just can't do it on an empty stomach. Then again, with BFL, you're only supposed to do cardio for 20 minutes, so it's not that hard to deal with.


Friday, January 05, 2007, 1:12 PM

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