I work out in the mornings before I go to work and I’m finding it really hard to get charged up and energized for an early start.
I basically wake up at 6.30am and am at my gym by 7.30. Trouble is I’m still half asleep and often find myself half halfheartedly going through the motions.
I generally grab a bowl of healthy cereal – like Protein Crunch – before I workout, but I don’t want to each much more or I find I get full and sluggish. So how can I get my energy levels up and put in a productive workout an hour after waking up?
I’ve tried looking for answers in the muscle magazines but they seem to think EVERYONE works out after work! I know I’d have more energy and be more awake if I worked out around 5 or 6 but my job is demanding and I’m generally not home until 8 or 9 at night.
What do you suggest?
How are you? I used to have this issue myself a number of years ago when I worked in NYC as assistant General Manager of a big fitness chain. I was working 80 plus hours per week and the only time I had to workout was at 4am! Man did that suck, I don’t miss those days at all.
Anyway here is what’s happening with you and the reason you’ve got no energy in my opinion – the cereal that you are eating isn’t breaking down fast enough and supplying your body with fuel in sufficient time for your workout. When you wake in the morning, you are experiencing what’s called “low blood sugar”, meaning you have little to no fuel coursing through your veins. This valuable sugar doesn’t just supply your muscles with fuel, but your brain as well. A low sugar state can be partially responsible for the “groggy” or “slow” feeling you have in the morning and without ample blood sugar, your brain, like your muscles, can’t function properly. I don’t recommend for my clients to consume a meal that requires sufficient digestion before a workout unless they can get it in an hour and a half prior to training. Sometimes if you eat too close to a workout you can get nauseous and possibly vomit from a low blood sugar state.
My remedy is super simple Mike, a good old fashioned bottle of Gatorade, or any moderately sugared, electrolyte rich sports drink, mixed with equal parts water. I start sipping it 15 minutes before a workout and continue on throughout the workout to basically start a “drip” of sugar to raise blood glucose levels and keep it steady for the duration of the workout. It’s a very similar premise to an intravenous drip (IV) that you’d get in the hospital.
Then right after the workout I’d have a great recovery drink with more simple sugar in it to replenish the glycogen that you just burned, quality protein to supply amino acids that are needed to rebuild those muscles you just traumatized and very little fat so that digestion and absorption happens quickly. The recovery shakes I would suggest for you to try post workout are made by EAS, MetRx and Next Protein as these companies are the “originals” and in my opinion you can’t go wrong with them. An hour or two later I suggest a “regular” meal of whole food and you’re set my man. Let me know how this works out for you – pun definitely intended.
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