Michael Bluth: What have we always said is the most important thing?
George Michael Bluth: Breakfast
Michael Bluth: Family
George Michael Bluth: Oh, right. Family. I thought you meant of the things you eat.
As usual, George Michael nailed it. In the scheme of healthy living, there are few things as important as breakfast. This past week I found myself in three unrelated conversations about eating breakfast before a morning workout. I’m not sure what the Bluth family would have to say about the subject, but I’ll share my take.
When I wake up in the morning, I am 100% ready to eat. I feel nauseous and sluggish otherwise. So, as a general rule, I always eat a little something before a morning workout. I don’t really think of this as breakfast, but rather a small pre-workout snack. I save my hearty breakfast (such as pancakes) for my post-workout enjoyment. My ideal pre-workout snack is ½ banana and a small cup of coffee. I find that I can get away with eating this right before (i.e. 15 min) a low impact workout such as strength training, yoga, spin, etc. If I’m prepping for a 60+ minute workout, I will add a bit of protein as well (like a Protein Nibbler). Good options for protein are few bites of a bar (i.e. KIND, Lara) or a homemade Protein Nibbler square. My goal is not to feel full, but rather fuel myself to push hard to get the most out of the workout. It is somewhat of a tricky balance and I don’t always get it right – sometimes I give into my morning hunger and eat more than is ideal. As a result, a trip to the bathroom (or worse some embarrassing gas) is likely to interrupt my workout.
High intensity activities (i.e. speed work, bootcamp, HIIT) first thing in the morning are a different story. I have trouble of one kind or another if I eat within 45 minutes of these types of workouts. If I don’t have at least 45 minutes to let the food settle, I will forgo it all together. A completely empty tank is not ideal either, but the alternative is feeling weighed down and potentially dealing with stomach issues mid-workout. As my goal is to get the most out of this early workout as possible, I am willing to deal with hunger as a trade-off. I recently went to a 5:30 am Barry’s Bootcamp class (this would fall into the high intensity category) and ate a few bites of banana right before class (I know better). Well, within the first 10 minutes I nearly tossed my cookies on the treadmill. That feeling stayed with me the entire 60 minutes, which was a bummer. To set myself up well, the night before a high intensity workout, I eat a smart dinner, stay away from alcohol, and drink lots of water.
Is anyone reading this? What is your morning pre-workout routine?
P.S. Who’s excited to hear more from George Michael Bluth this SUNDAY?!!! Arrested Development returns!!