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  1. #1
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    What to eat before AM exercise

    Inspired by another thread. Didn't want to hijack.

    I really want to get into the habit of exercising in the morning for lots of reasons (schedule, feel good all day, etc.). I have no problem getting up in the morning. In fact, I usually wake up at 6 without an alarm, even if I don't really have anything important to do.

    I'm wondering what people do for fuel that early in the morning. I haven't found anything that works for me, and I always end up feeling sick after exercising for a while. Do I need to drink a bunch of water before I go to bed? Should I eat a full breakfast before I exercise? Gel?

    Also, do you do anything special as far as eating at night when you know you are working out the next morning. Thanks for any replies.

  2. #2
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    At that hour of the morning, if I were going out for a long ride, I'd knock back a can of Ensure. However, if I were just going out for an hour or so, I'd just drink a glass of orange juice, or take a bottle of sports drink, or something.

    During the summer, I commuted 1.5 hours to work in the mornings a couple times a week. I had to be on the road by 5:45 am. I carried a bottle of sports drink on my bicycle, and that's all I consumed. Once I got to work, I'd have breakfast.

    Oh, and nothing special the night before.

  3. #3
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    I've found a nice snack before bed helps alot. Crackers or other complex carbs seem to work best but really you just need calories. I dont know about biking in the AM but I swim for a high school team from 5am to 7am. I'll eat the night before and then a bunch after. Works for me.

  4. #4
    Splicer of Molecules Nickel's Avatar
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    I'm a fan of eating light. Usually a banana is all I can stomach.

  5. #5
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    when i was rowing we'd have practice at 5 am all week. the best thing to do in my opinion is to have 1/2 of a energy, i liked to eat cliff bars. i'd have 1/2 of it, leave it in the wrapper, then froze my a** off in a carbon fiber boat with only a tshirt and a pair of spandex shoarts.

    now that i think about it, these two sports aren't that far apart.

    i don't know about feeling good all day though, i was usually passed out by my 11 am class wishing that i didn't wake up so early. hmmm

  6. #6
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    I'm at the gym 5 days a week at 5:30am, and on weight lifting days I eat a normal small breakfast (a bagel or a bowl of cereal or something), but on cardio days (running 5 miles or something), I skip breakfast and just drink a glass of orange juice. I have a protein shake or something afterwards, but I don't usually load my stomach up with solid food when I know I'm about to be doing aerobic activity. If I do, I get side cramps and my performance goes down.

  7. #7
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Don't eat anything. If you're doing a long ride, have a gu at 45 minutes. I sometimes do an 8:30am fast group ride for 50 miles, and I never eat before it.

  8. #8
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    12 mile ride to work each morning, and I generally will make a smoothie (banana, peanut butter, honey, flaxseed, cocoa powder, coconut, milk) and an espresso.

  9. #9
    Winter commuting mode Tequila Joe's Avatar
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    Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame bun...

    But usually a banana.

  10. #10
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    Caffiene, water, nothing else.
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  11. #11
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    I have a hard time eating a big meal early in the morning, but if I have a long ride scheduled I will usually eat at least 2-3 scrambled eggs, 2 slices of toast, and a glass of juice. For rides under 2 hours, cold cereal is fine with me.
    "Well, I guess you can cut the arts as much as you want... Sooner or later, these kids aren't going to have anything to read or write about." (Richard Dreyfus as Glenn Holland)

  12. #12
    going roundy round wanders's Avatar
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    Pork rinds and beef jerky followed with a glass of tomato juice. After you puke it back up, try a banana.

  13. #13
    Raising the Abyss celticfrost's Avatar
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    30 mins before ride:

    -hard boiled egg or 1 pack of oatmeal w/ honey
    -water
    -water (the previous night)
    -1 Clif bar during the morning ride
    "...in Las Vegas where -the electric bills are staggering -the decor hog wild -and the entertainment saccharine -what a golden age -what a time of right and reason -the consumer's king -and unhappiness is treason..."

  14. #14
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    For rides under about 30 miles, no more than a banana. Anything over that, a yogurt and maybe a banana.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  15. #15
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    I ran 8.5 miles today (just under 1.5 hrs) and I don't eat anything before.
    After I got home, showered and left for work I grabbed a small smoothie king near my office.

    When going on a weekend ride I usually try to push down some oatmeal before leaving since I have to drive half an hour to the starting point. Then i take a cliff bar or something to eat half of at the halfway point and the rest on the way back. This is good for 30-40 miles or so. Slightly watered down gatorade in the water bottle to help as well.
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  16. #16
    Triathlon in my future??? flip18436572's Avatar
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    I work out at 5:00 a.m. everyday. I don't eat until I am done. Sometimes that is 6:00 and sometimes it is after 7:00. I make breakfast when I come home, or eat a banana or Fibre One bar.
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  17. #17
    Too Much Crazy
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    I workout/ride at an early hour also. if it is a 3 plus hour workout/ride, I will eat a clif bar before hand. Other wise its coffee, banana and water 1/2 hour before I get going. The coffee makes it so I don't have to ***** midway

  18. #18
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Kurt View Post
    The coffee makes it so I don't have to ***** midway
    I don't leave the house until I ***** which is usually 10 minutes after I wake up.
    If I drink enough of it the coffee would probably make me *****!
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  19. #19
    Getting Less Chunky ChunkyB's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot for everyone's replies. I have some ideas I can try and experiment with. Keep em comin'.

  20. #20
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    back when i ran marathons (when the knee was healthy) i would drink as much water as my body could hold the night before. wake up, have an energy bar and a glass of OJ and be off. You could also try carb loading the night before as well.

    Make sure you stay hydrated during your rides in the morning (cytomax, heed, whatever you drink).

  21. #21
    I give up! cujet's Avatar
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    I got interested in making my own energy bars. Some of them are like lead in the stomach, some digest fairly well. I ended up going with an oatmeal/honey/PB/raisin bar with protein power in it. However, I have to keep them small. Otherwise they are too many calories.

    Someone once said that the body has a 2000-2500 calorie reserve. If so, eating a lot is not necessary before a short ride.

    Chris
    If it doesn't burn fossil fuel, I don't like it.

  22. #22
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Now that it's pumpkin pie season, and keeping in mind I have no self control when it comes to food, a slice of pumpkin pie with some whip cream. Before couple packets of instant oatmeal, plain with no sugar added, and some flavor one like Flax 'n Seeds.
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  23. #23
    I give up! cujet's Avatar
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    I tried a small cup of oatmeal this morn (a crank'n 32 mile ride) with rasins and a touch of real maple syrup. It worked very well. No sick feeling, no lead in stomach feeling, no bonk.

    I cannot eat any of those things if I do not ride due to health issues.

    Chris
    If it doesn't burn fossil fuel, I don't like it.

  24. #24
    Junior Member Texas_Trek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cujet View Post
    I tried a small cup of oatmeal this morn (a crank'n 32 mile ride) with rasins and a touch of real maple syrup. It worked very well. No sick feeling, no lead in stomach feeling, no bonk.

    Chris
    Wow, what time do you wake up Chris? What time do you hit the road? I drink a glass of water and then ride 25 miles. I start at 5:15 am. When I get back I have oatmeal and eggs while the kids get ready for school. I too like the real maple syrup as the occasional sweetener. Is it bad that I eat oatmeal and eggs after my ride? I mean as far as my body burning those calories...


    "To build true confidence through knowledge in the mind, honesty in the heart, and strength in the body."

  25. #25
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    My wife is really good about making oatmeal in the morning, and I can handle that no problem. OJ before exercise is a sure puke inducer for me. Maybe some cold cereal would work as well, but it's better to have something warm, and for some reason, oatmeal is easy on the stomach. Mine anyway. She'll make a batch with one banana in it, and split it up 3 ways so we get the oatmeal and 1/3 banana. The other suggestions are right on about drinking water the night before, although I don't know how much good it does me. I just get up more often to pee at night.

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