Should I eat before my morning workout?
The short answer is yes but, as usual, there are some mitigating factors that you should consider.
The first thing I want to say is this: It is NOT highly beneficial to most people to exercise on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
The term "fasting cardio" makes me want to vomit. Is there a benefit? Maybe you use more fat for fuel. Maybe. This is some research that shows this. The drawbacks, however, are more important to me. You energy will be much lower and you won't be able to have as much intensity.
It is also much harder to gain and maintain muscle mass when you do fasted cardio. In my book, adding muscle is a jillion times more important than using a slightly high proportion of fat for your workout. Yeah, I said a jillion.
Plus if you get used to not eating you won't be hungry and you will lower your metabolism. This is a bad thing. You want to create a fire in your body that burns anything and everything.
There are smart people on both sides. My side is that "fasted cardio" (and "cardio" in general for that matter!) isn't the best way to reach your long term goals that include superior health and wellness.
So, I think you should eat before you workout in the morning.
What should you eat?
Don't know. What do you eat?
You should eat as much as you can without what you are eating wanting to make a return trip.
If you feel bloated or lethargic or like you have a waffle in your throat, then you either ate too much or too close to your workout.
I don't generally workout in the morning. The one exception is Saturday morning. Granted, this workout is at 9am so I have the time to get up early enough to eat a full breakfast which I do.
What about 6am or earlier workouts?
Eat something light that works for you.
If I were working out early, which I did do once a couple of weeks ago, I would eat either a banana or some sort of bar.
The other option is to get up earlier. It's a balance. Which do you sacrifice: sleep or energy?
With the higher intensity, short workouts that we do at the gym, I would just eat something light and sleep as much as possible.
Something like does NOT mean a danish or a muffin. You need a blend of some good carbs (like fruit or whole grains) and some good protein. Don't eat a candy bar.
You will learn quick that this isn't going to give you good fuel.
What about a longer workout like a 10k or longer run?
If you plan on running to biking for an hour or more you need to get up earlier and eat a little more food. You are going to need the calories!
Pro tip: Eat a later dinner higher in quality protein the nights before you workout early. Another option is to have a protein shake before bed.
This could help.
If you want to burn a hot fire inside of you then you need fuel to burn. While "fasted cardio" will help you burn a little extra fat you are sacrificing a better workout and your muscle mass; these aren't acceptable trade offs in my book.
If you work out first thing in the morning get up as early as you need to to get as much food in your belly as you comfortably can.
This is how hot bodies are made. We are forged with fire.
Want to know what you SHOULD do before breakfast? Cleanse+... (click link below to learn more)