Fuel Before Morning Workouts

Skipping breakfast is a common practice among people who exercise early in the morning. If you roll out of bed and eat nothing before you jump into the swimming pool, participate in a stationary cycling class, or go for a run, you may be running on fumes. You will probably perform better if you eat something before you exercise. During the night, you can deplete your liver glycogen, the source of carbohydrate that maintains normal blood sugar levels. When you start a workout with low blood sugar, you fatigue earlier than you would have if you had eaten something.

How much you should eat varies from person to person, ranging from a few crackers to a slice of bread, a glass of juice, a bowl of cereal, or a whole breakfast. If you had a large snack the night before, you'll be less needy of early-morning food. But if you've eaten nothing since a 6:00 p.m. dinner the night before, your blood sugar will definitely need a boost. Most people get good results from 0.5 gram of carbohydrate (2 calories) per pound (1 g per kg) of body weight one hour before moderately hard exercise, or 2 grams of carbohydrate (8 calories) per pound (4 g per kg) of body weight four hours beforehand. For a 150-pound (68 kg) person, this is 75 to 300 grams (300 to 1,200 calories) of carbohydrate—the equivalent of a small bowl of cereal with a banana to a big stack of pancakes (ACSM, ADA, and Dietitians of Canada 2000).

Defining the best amount of preexercise food is difficult because tolerances vary greatly from person to person. Some athletes get up two hours early just to eat and then go back to bed and allow time for the food to settle. Others have a few bites of a bagel, a banana, or some other easy-to-digest food as they dash out the door. Then there are those who habitually run on empty. If that's you, an abstainer, here is a noteworthy study that might convince you to experiment with eating at least 100 calories of a morning snack before you work out.

Researchers asked a group of athletes to bike moderately hard for as long as they could. When they ate breakfast (400 calories of carbohydrate), they biked for 136 minutes, as compared with 109 minutes after only drinking water (Schabort et al. 1999). Clearly, these athletes were able to train better with some fuel in their tanks. Preexercise morning fuel will likely work for you, too.

Four hundred calories is the equivalent of an average bowl of cereal with some milk and banana; it's not a pile of pancakes. You need not eat tons of food to notice a benefit. Eat what's comfortable for you, and learn what is the right amount of food to fuel your workouts but still settle well.

#3. Small intestine:

Starches break into simple sugars. Protein is further digested into amino acids and fat into fatty acids. These digestive products are then absorbed into the bloodstream and either used or transported to the liver. The indigestible waste products move into the large intestine.

#4. Liver: Receives digested food components and stores extra glucose to be released into the bloodstream for future use.

US Navy Seal Physical Fitness Training Manual

US Navy Seal Physical Fitness Training Manual

Use the same methods the American Navy Seals use to get fit and become the elite enforcers in the world today! The Navy SEAL Physical Fitness Guide has been prepared for the SEAL community with several goals in mind. Our objective is to provide you, the operator, with information to help: Enhance the physical abilities required to perform Special Operations mission-related physical tasks Promote long-term cardiovascular health and physical fitness Prevent injuries and accelerate return to duty Maintain physical readiness under deployed or embarked environments.

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