An early morning session at the gym can be really invigorating and may set you up for a healthy, active day. The key ‘do’s and don’ts’ for early morning exercising aren’t different from that for any other time of the day. Everyone is different and some like a workout breakfast and some prefer a fasted session. There is no specific research to say one is better than the other. However, something you ought to be doing: you should eat after the session to refuel your body and you should always keep your body hydrated. So, irrespective of what so-called ‘experts’ might claim, it is not always best to hit the treadmill on an empty stomach in the morning. It is completely dependent on the individual. If you don’t have enough time to eat something substantial before going to the gym, perhaps try having a smoothie, a small cup of yoghurt, a banana, a granola bar, a handful of dried fruits like raisins and almonds, etc. Working out on an empty stomach can sometimes lead to nausea.
The glucose stored in your muscles in the form of glycogen, which fuels your muscles during the session at the gym, thus they are depleted by the end of the session. Your muscles also require protein to repair and rebuild the muscles, which may help the body continue to burn calories long after the workout.
It is best to eat a healthy and well balanced meal that includes both carbohydrates and protein within an hour or two after the end of the session at the gym. You also need to rehydrate your body and provide it with the essential nutrients.
Fruits provide your body with a variety of vitamins and nutrients. Fruits also have high water content, which will rehydrate your body. You can have a fruit and veggie smoothie or a bowl of fresh or frozen fruits.
Whole Grain Bread and Oatmeal
Your body needs carbs and whole wheat carbs and grains are a great source as they also contain fibre. You can enjoy carbs in a number of ways particularly as part of your pre or post workout breakfast. Toast can be enjoyed in many ways! Nut butter spread contains protein and healthy fats so makes a great combo. Eggs on toast is very nutritious. Alternatively, you can have a bowl of oatmeal (or even quinoa) with some fruit and nuts.
Eggs are so underrated and contain essential nutrients that are great as a post-workout breakfast. The best part is you can have eggs in various forms and each is equally tasty and good for the body. You can rustle up an omelette with herbs and veggies or have a couple of hard-boiled eggs or scramble them and have them with a couple of slices of whole wheat bread. A combination of fruits, veggies and eggs is great for your body after a session at the gym.
Lean meat is essentially meat with a low-fat content. You can incorporate it in your breakfast as well. Have a turkey sandwich with whole wheat bread and eggs. Lean meat has quite a few suggested health benefits.
Dairy is also a good source of protein for the body and also contains calcium and phosphorus. You can have yoghurt and / or milk with your breakfast. Cook your oatmeal with milk and add some fruits to the yoghurt to make a tasty workout breakfast.
As you’ve learned from the article, following up your workout with a nutritious meal high in protein is key to supporting the recovery and growth of your muscles. Here are some useful post-workout breakfast recipes and ideas.