AM Exercisers - do you eat/drink anything first? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-02-2007, 10:52 AM
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I've recently been starting a morning exercise program - it's called the Couch to 5K from coolrunning.com. I'm on week 4 now and I'm noticing that as the workouts get harder, I'm feeling more and more...depleted, I guess. Sluggish? I'm doing it first thing in the morning, out of bed and out the door, and I don't eat anything first, but I do drink a small glass of water before I go so that I don't get dehydrated. So my question is, for those of you who exercise first thing in the morning, do you eat something first? Or drink something? Both? If so, what and how much do you eat?



For those who don't eat anything prior to exercise, does it just get easier as you get more fit?



TIA for all responses and ideas!

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#2 Old 07-02-2007, 10:57 AM
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I would eat something. Not too much or you'll feel full during your run, maybe an apple or something 30 min before...
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#3 Old 07-02-2007, 03:00 PM
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Sometimes I have a protein shake but I generally do better on an empty stomach...I have digestive issues...
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#4 Old 07-02-2007, 04:18 PM
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I am training for a marathon, and I eat breakfast one hour before I go for my morning runs. I have 2 packets of instant oatmeal made w/soymilk and a glass of OJ. It allows me to "clear my system" before I head out, and gives me plenty of energy. I can't exercise on an empty stomach.
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#5 Old 07-02-2007, 05:09 PM
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Hi, Cornflower! I usually run and/or swim in the mornings, and beforehand I typically have some sort of protein -- either a couple of eggs, or a "sausage" patty on an English muffin, or scrambled tofu, or occasionally a protein shake when I'm away from home. I try not to eat too closely to when I hit the road or the pool, but I can get away with just a half-hour of digestion if need be.



Good luck!
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#6 Old 07-02-2007, 05:45 PM
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I can't exercise on an empty stomach.

MY body will say "NO!".



ebola
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#7 Old 07-02-2007, 09:08 PM
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Hmmmm...eating and then waiting for digestion seems to be the consensus. Do you all really do this? I mean, I have to get up 45 minutes earlier than usual just to fit the exercise in. I don't know if I would want to get up 30 min - 1 hour before that to eat, and then sit around waiting for it to digest! I am sure I would fall back asleep.



Are juices easier to digest? I wonder if I could drink a small glass of OJ before hitting the road, like 4 oz - and NOT wait before exercising?

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#8 Old 07-02-2007, 09:56 PM
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When I run, I do not eat first. Not even when marathon training (though when marathon training I do eat a gel every 45 mins or so). I also have digestive issues: I'd rather feel hungry than be hurling in a ditch. Your body does get used to it, but if you don't have issues with your stomach, you may be more comfortable if you eat a little first. My brother eats a banana (I've been able to get by with eating 1/2 a banana or so with no issues) first.

Your body still has a significant amount of glycogen stored in your muscles for immediate fuel, so except for comfort, eating first probably won't make a difference unless you're working out for an hour or more (this begins to get a little more complicated, but that's the basics of it). If you are feeling tired, it's likely because you're working out - lets you know you're doing some good! FWIW, I commute by bicycle 30 miles every day, and I do eat before I do that. By Thursday or so, I still begin to feel pretty tired.
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#9 Old 07-03-2007, 05:38 AM
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Also, are you eating enough throughout the day to allow for your body to recover? That may also be a reason for the sluggish feeling...
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#10 Old 07-03-2007, 08:24 AM
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I run between 2.5 and 5 miles nearly every day. I eat a half a piece of whole wheat bread with a small smear of peanut butter before I leave the house. It seems to be just the right amount to stave off the hunger, and yet not make me feel like I've filled myself up with anything. On hot or muggy days, I take a 6 oz. bottle of water with me, but other than that, I don't drink anything before my run either. There are two places to get water along my route, if I feel like I'm sweating more than normal.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#11 Old 07-03-2007, 08:27 AM
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I used to get up, drive to where I worked (30 minutes), strap on my roller blades and skate for 60 to 75 minutes, shower, etc (another 30 minutes) and then eat. It works well for my body, but I understand it doesn't work for everyones.



Have you considered having a drink of juice rather than water in the morning before going out to exercise? That might give you a little energy without having to actually eat.
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#12 Old 07-04-2007, 06:45 AM
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It seems like different things work for different people. Try it out with food and without food. Personally, I like to workout on an empty stomach. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. There are no set rules to fitness. Rules are derived from experience, which why there are so many different rules.
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#13 Old 07-06-2007, 04:15 PM
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If I'm doing 20 miles, don't eat but I'll drink 18-20 oz of water during the ride. (I cycle, so that's 70 min or so of pretty hard but not killer effort). If it's over 20 miles, I eat first. I've got no digestive issues on cereal with fruit unless I do sprints.



I figured it out through trial and error. If you're hurting, why not try eating a little?
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#14 Old 07-08-2007, 09:01 AM
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I exercise on an empty stomach, about 15 minutes after waking up. It works well for me.



I agree with the trial-and-error technique. You just have to find out what works well for you.
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#15 Old 07-08-2007, 09:14 AM
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Most people say it's better to eat after, but I can't do it. Today when I went on my jog I had cheerios with fruit and soymilk before. A normal sized breakfast. Not small, but not Denny's grand slam style, if you know what I mean!
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#16 Old 07-08-2007, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornflower View Post

...I'm noticing that as the workouts get harder, I'm feeling more and more...depleted, I guess. Sluggish?



Are you feeling this before starting out, during the run, or afterwards?
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#17 Old 07-09-2007, 03:37 AM
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I do well exercising without eating in the morning, but I don't think it's for everyone. If I eat a meal I'll feel sick if I exercise within an hour or two, and if I eat a snack, I'll feel hungry the whole time.



I think as my runs get longer, though, I'll do what my running book suggests -- set an alarm for about two hours before I'm going to get up and run, eat something (nothing fancy -- just something snacky for energy) and go back to sleep.
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#18 Old 07-09-2007, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karenlovessnow View Post

Sometimes I have a protein shake but I generally do better on an empty stomach...I have digestive issues...



Same here... except for the protein shake thing. I can only exercise on an empty stomach.

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#19 Old 07-09-2007, 09:41 AM
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions!



Someone asked me if I'm eating enough during the other parts of the day. Well, in conjunction with taking up running I AM trying to lose weight, so I am eating less than I used to (but averaging probably 1800 - 2000 cals/day, I'm 5'10" and exercising so I can lose weight on that!). But one thing I was doing with the weight loss was not eating after dinnertime. So I wake up pretty hungry in the morning. I realized that might be part of why I have felt sluggish during my runs. So I just tried an experiment -- last night just before bed, I ate a banana - and I think it helped! I didn't feel hungry when I woke up this morning and the run went pretty well! So maybe that's what will work with my body! We'll see, I'll do that again for my Wed run.



Also, it could just be that I am still new at this whole running thing. I had tried taking it up in the past and my body seriously revolted! I was only able to run for maybe 10 minutes and then I would feel sick, even nauseous, for hours afterward! Now I'm working up to it gradually but it's still quite a challenge for me - and every week I am doing more running and less walking than the past week so I won't be able to get to the point where it gets easier until after I've finished the 9 weeks (I just started week 5) and then continue.

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#20 Old 07-10-2007, 11:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornflower View Post

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!



Someone asked me if I'm eating enough during the other parts of the day. Well, in conjunction with taking up running I AM trying to lose weight, so I am eating less than I used to (but averaging probably 1800 - 2000 cals/day, I'm 5'10" and exercising so I can lose weight on that!). But one thing I was doing with the weight loss was not eating after dinnertime. So I wake up pretty hungry in the morning. I realized that might be part of why I have felt sluggish during my runs. So I just tried an experiment -- last night just before bed, I ate a banana - and I think it helped! I didn't feel hungry when I woke up this morning and the run went pretty well! So maybe that's what will work with my body! We'll see, I'll do that again for my Wed run.



Also, it could just be that I am still new at this whole running thing. I had tried taking it up in the past and my body seriously revolted! I was only able to run for maybe 10 minutes and then I would feel sick, even nauseous, for hours afterward! Now I'm working up to it gradually but it's still quite a challenge for me - and every week I am doing more running and less walking than the past week so I won't be able to get to the point where it gets easier until after I've finished the 9 weeks (I just started week 5) and then continue.



Congratulations! You're following the first rule of fitness: do the opposite of what you're used to. I just have one suggestion. Perhaps try to eat a lighter breakfast instead of a lighter dinner. Reserve dinner for getting most of your vitamins in since you'll be fasting for 8 hours during the night.
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#21 Old 07-24-2007, 09:22 AM
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I too exercise on an empty stomach. I get up between 4:30 and 5:00 am, but usually don't start exercising until 6:00 or 7:00. I just cannot eat that early in the morning. I cannot do any kind of exercise, lay down or take a bath within 2 hours of eating. My stomach will revolt.
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