With the summer months approaching quickly, everyone’s trying to get beach-body-ready with workout routines and diets.
Most people are combining exercise with portion control, and although burning calories is important, you need to eat the right foods. This leads us to the question:
What do I eat before and after a morning workout to lose weight?
What You Eat and How it Affects Weight Loss
The food you eat significantly impacts at the rate your body loses weight. Weight loss involves burning excess calories, i.e. you need to burn approximately 3,500 calories to shed one pound.
But you can’t just burn off the calories you eat, because that way you won’t really lose weight. To do that, your body needs to create a calorie deficit, i.e. you have to eat fewer calories than you burn off.
So, don’t expect a daily one-hour workout to burn off all the calories you eat.
Do I Need to Eat Before a Morning Workout?
When it comes to the ‘should I eat before a morning workout debate’, there are arguments in favor and against it.
Truth be told, there’s no wrong way to start a workout. There are just separate benefits of each method.
For some people, it’s impossible to eat in the morning, but others can’t seem to clear their head until they have a proper breakfast.
Fitness experts suggest that if you can’t exercise without eating, opt for a mixture of carbohydrate and protein-rich foods instead of fat because fats take more time to digest.
If you do eat before your workout, experts show that this can benefit your workout.
Carbohydrates can kickstart the body’s metabolism and you experience better efficiency while working out. Studies also show that people who eat before a morning workout eat less after their workout and a faster metabolism throughout.
Can I Workout in a Fasting State?
Sure, you can work out on an empty stomach. Research also shows that people who exercise in a fasting state tend to lose 20 percent more fat than people who exercise after eating do.
However, there are some drawbacks.
For example, your body may not perform as efficiently during intense activities and you may want to stick to less strenuous exercises.
People who work out on an empty stomach tend to eat more after exercising. As the body doesn’t like to stay hungry, it may make up for losing fat stores by slowing down metabolism.
What Should I Do?
We think that it’s best to opt for a light snack before a morning workout.
This way, your body can take a little time to switch energy sources, and you don’t feel worn out afterward, either.
The Best Foods to Eat Before a Morning Workout
No matter when the workout is, dieticians recommend that you eat at least an hour before you start exercising so you get enough time to digest it.
Since morning workouts require you to wake up early enough, you probably don’t want to wake up even earlier just to have breakfast.
No, don’t compromise on sleep. Instead, dieticians think it’s best to have smaller portions of breakfast-worthy foods instead.
We’ve made a list of recommended foods, but make sure to check how long they need to digest.
Then, eat accordingly.
Although they are rich in fiber, oats still contain carbs, except at a slower rate. Slow carbohydrate release means consistent energy levels throughout the workout.
This allows you to train harder for longer periods. Stick to small portions unless you have an hour to digest it.
Greek Yogurt with Fruit
This combination is awesome pre-workout food. Protein-rich Greek yogurt can help prevent muscle damage whilst the carbohydrates in fruit give you a quick source of energy.
Whole Grain Bread
To improve your workout before heading out the door, opt for a slice of whole grain bread.
It’s an excellent source of carbohydrates.
The same goes for dried fruit, such as dried pineapple, figs, apricots, berries, and raisins.
Stick to a small serving because these contain a lot of sugar and steer clear of nuts because those are high in fat.
Rich in potassium and carbohydrates, bananas are an ideal source of pre-workout energy because they boost muscle and nerve function.
Pure Fruit Juice
If you’re too lazy to prepare anything but don’t want to exercise on an empty stomach, take a few sips of 100 percent fresh fruit juice.
A few sips can provide your body with instant energy it needs to kickstart metabolism.
What You Should Be Eating After Morning Workouts
Eating after a workout is essential since your body is building new glycogen stores and repairing muscles.
Moreover, eating carbs and protein after a workout helps your body achieve this quickly.
Here’s what you should eat after a workout:
Rich in carbohydrates and a little fiber, sweet potatoes are a delicious addition to your meal and provide you with plenty of energy.
If you’re too busy to fix a proper meal, eggs are a protein-rich food you can easily prepare in a few minutes.
Hard-boiled eggs work best, but you can opt for a different variety as long as the overall fat level stays low.
Chicken or Salmon
Both salmon and chicken are protein-rich staples that can improve muscle repair after an intense workout.
Pair them with some carbohydrates to achieve a better balance.
Pasta or Rice
You can pair these staple carbs with different protein foods.
Remember, consuming carbohydrates post-workout is crucial to increase energy and prevent fatigue.
If you’re on the run and don’t even have the time to prep a quick snack in the kitchen, opt for chocolate milk.
Chocolate milk is a lazy alternative that provides you with a good balance of proteins and carbohydrates until you have your next meal.
Select protein-rich blends, i.e. ‘protein shakes’, formulated specifically to offer post-workout nutrition.
Summing It All Up
This is our advice on what you should be eating before and after a morning workout for optimal weight loss performance.
Of course, you also have to take into account the type of workouts that you are doing. If you are not ready for heavy workouts in the morning, you should look into the benefits of morning yoga and adjust your exercise intensity.
Which of these foods do you eat for weight loss routines? Let us know in the comments!