What you should eat BEFORE a morning work-out, according to an ex-marine turned fitness freak


Morning workouts can leave you feeling energised for the day, that is, if you can be bothered to drag yourself to the gym. 

But what you eat before you break a sweat can determine how much progress you make, according to one expert.  

Ex-marine Patrick Dale, now a gym owner and fitness writer, has shared his tips on the best pre-workout breakfasts. 

From low-fat cream cheese English muffins to turkey bagels, Mr Dale has revealed his top meals for maximising your morning energy levels. 

Fitness expert and gym owner Patrick Dale has shared his tips on the best pre-workout breakfasts, from low-fat cream cheese English muffins to turkey bagels

Other energy-boosting breakfasts he suggests include ripe mashed banana on toast with honey, oatmeal with berries or cereal and low-fat milk.

If you’re in a rush, an energy bar or granola bar are also good snacks to have before exercising, according to Mr Dale. 

He also suggests eating scrambled egg whites and rice crackers as your pre-exercise breakfast. 

British-born Mr Dale, who now lives in Cyprus, says that your pre-workout breakfast should be packed with fast-acting and easy-to-digest carbohydrates.

Ex-marine turned fitness freak Patrick Dale (pictured) says your pre-workout breakfast should be packed with fast-acting and easy-to-digest carbohydrates, as your time between waking up and working out will be limited

Ex-marine turned fitness freak Patrick Dale (pictured) says your pre-workout breakfast should be packed with fast-acting and easy-to-digest carbohydrates, as your time between waking up and working out will be limited

He suggests you eat foods that rank moderate to high on the glycemic index chart — which measures how fast-acting a carbohydrate is.

When you eat carbohydrates, they are broken down into glucose — which the body uses as fuel.

Mr Dale claims fast-acting carbs are best for your pre-morning workout meal as you might not have much time between waking up and exercising. 

Dates, breakfast cereal, white bread, ripe bananas and white rice are examples of such carbs.

The type of exercise you are doing will also determine whether fast or slow-acting carbohydrates are best.

For a short and intense work out, experts suggest consuming fast-acting carbs, for the energy burst.

For longer workouts, slow-acting carbs, such as brown rice or quinoa, are recommended, as they release energy gradually. 

Yet for time-strapped gym-goers, fast-acting carbs are best, as Mr Dale describes them as an ‘immediate source of energy’. 

While he claims you can start the day with just carbs, he said research suggests it is best to combine them with protein. 

Ripe bananas are an example of fast-acting carbs, which Mr Dale says are key for your pre-workout breakfast

Another example of a fast acting carb you can include in your morning meal is white bread

Dates, breakfast cereal, white bread, ripe bananas and white rice are examples of fast-acting carbs

Protein helps to build muscle by repairing and maintaining muscle tissue, so Mr Dale recommends adding some to your pre-workout meal.

When it comes to what to leave off your breakfast, fatty and fibre-packed foods are to be avoided if you’re about to exercise, experts say.

Despite fat being important as part of your overall diet, it takes a long time to digest, so is best avoided before exercising, says registered nutritionist and dietitian Megan Casper, a member of the American Dietetic Association. 

She said: ‘That means [that] if you eat something really high in fat, think fried foods or bacon, right before a workout, it will sit undigested in your stomach and cause indigestion.’ 

Mr Dale also says your breakfast needs to be low in fat, and even advises against healthy fats such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, or coconut oil.

He also claims the same logic applies to fibre. 

He suggests you go for more refined and naturally low-fibre foods, such as white bread instead of whole-grain.

You need to give your body time to start digesting the food before you begin training and fitness gurus say eating 30 to 60 minutes in advance is ideal. 

But if your time between waking up and working out is limited, Mr Dale suggests drinking your breakfast, as liquids digest quicker than solids.  

Nutritionist Lauren Felts, who also owns health and wellness website The Holy Kale, said: ‘By drinking our breakfast, we flood the body with high-density nutrition that will continue to promote the rebuilding, regenerating and cleansing processes of the body without taxing the digestive system.’ 

Some people suggest doing your morning workout on an empty stomach – which is referred to as fasted training. 

However the Surrey Human Performance Institute say the general consensus among experts is that this is not advised as it can lead to fatigue, lack of concentration and may hinder your performance.

HOW MUCH EXERCISE YOU NEED

To stay healthy, adults aged 19 to 64 should try to be active daily and should do:

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as cycling or brisk walking every week and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity such as running or a game of singles tennis every week and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

Or:

  • a mix of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity every week – for example, 2 x 30-minute runs plus 30 minutes of brisk walking equates to 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and
  • strength exercises on 2 or more days a week that work all the major muscles (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms)

A good rule is that 1 minute of vigorous activity provides the same health benefits as 2 minutes of moderate activity.

One way to do your recommended 150 minutes of weekly physical activity is to do 30 minutes on 5 days every week.

All adults should also break up long periods of sitting with light activity.

Source: NHS 

 

 

 

 

 

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