Working out first thing in the morning can seem like a lot to take on when you’re groggy and probably not thinking clearly. But there are some great reasons to get up early and hit the gym, rather than just sit at your desk and sulk about another failed New Year’s resolution.
Even though it is still dark outside, working out at this time of day has many benefits, including helping you sleep better that night. Plus, by exercising before work or school, you have the rest of the day to recover so you won’t need to catch up on sleep later. Working out first thing in the morning also gives you more time during the rest of your busy day.
You don’t have to skip breakfast or lunch again because of another workout, but can instead fuel your body for optimal performance. This means eating something that isn’t going to make you feel sluggish afterward or give you an energy crash an hour or two later. Here are some ideas for healthy snacks that will get your body ready for an invigorating morning workout
Eggs are a great source of protein, which will help you build and repair muscle after your workout. You can eat them plain, scrambled, or as an omelet with lots of veggies. They’re also a great source of B vitamins, which have been shown to help with stress and anxiety. Besides being great before a workout, eggs are also a good food to eat after exercising. They contain cysteine, a compound that helps your body break down the chemicals released when you sweat.
This keeps your body from accumulating toxins after workouts that would otherwise build up inside your body. Eggs are also relatively inexpensive, easy to cook, and can be eaten on the go if you’re crunched for time. You can store them in the fridge for up to one week, in the freezer for up to three months, or buy them in a powdered form to make egg protein drinks.
Greek yogurt is a better option than regular yogurt because it has more protein. It also contains probiotics, which are helpful for your digestive system and can be especially helpful for those with irritable bowl syndrome. Because it’s thicker than regular yogurt, you can top it with fruit or granola and make it more of a meal than a snack. If you buy flavored yogurt, you can add a lot of flavor to your breakfast or snack without adding too many unnecessary calories or artificial sweeteners. Try adding fruit or granola to make it more of a meal and yogurt with granola as a healthy alternative to cookies for an afternoon snack.
Dark Leafy Greens
Dark leafy greens, like spinach or kale, are rich in vitamins and minerals and can give you the energy you need for a morning workout. They’re also a great source of iron, which helps your body make red blood cells and carry oxygen throughout your body. Iron is especially important for physically active people or people who may be pregnant. You don’t have to eat the greens plain. You can add them to a smoothie or oatmeal, or create a baked oatmeal by adding them to the batter before baking. You can also use them in salads or on sandwiches. Dark leafy greens are also relatively inexpensive and can be found in most grocery stores.
Beans are a great source of protein and fiber and can help you feel full and energized throughout the day. You can add them to omelets, salads, or sandwiches. Or, you can make baked beans by mixing them with brown sugar and barbecue sauce. You can also make a simple bean dip by mixing beans with salsa, sour cream, and spices. You can serve the dip with chips or crackers for a healthy alternative to store-bought dips.
Whole Grain Cereals
Whole grain cereals can be a great breakfast that offers a good amount of protein, like oatmeal or granola, but with added protein from milk. You can top your cereal with fruit or nuts to make it more nutritious and satisfying. If you don’t like cereal, try yogurt with granola or a smoothie made with yogurt or milk. Yogurt with granola is also a great option because you can make it more nutritious by adding fruit and using plain yogurt instead of vanilla.
Exercising first thing in the morning is great for your health. It gets your blood flowing, releases endorphins, and can help you get a better night’s sleep. It’s also a great way to start the day because you can get more done with your day without having to catch up on sleep later. By choosing snacks with protein, fiber, and vitamins, you can fuel your body with what it needs to perform at its peak while also getting the nutrients it needs to stay energized and full throughout the day.
And later, these snacks can help you recover from workouts so you can do it all again tomorrow. Now that you know what to eat before your morning workout, you can start working towards better health and higher energy levels. These snacks are rich in vitamins and minerals and protein, so you can perform at your best and recover faster once your workout is done.