Improve Morning Pre and Post Workout Nutrition?

pre workout morning meal

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Date: December 22, 2015


Stumbled upon your website while searching for a dumbbell routine that I could incorporate into my workouts. Great site with lots of information!

My daily work and family schedule does not allow for post-work exercise. My work has a well-equipped gym that sees lots of use during the lunch hour, and a large crowd after work. The after work sessions are… well… crowded. A typical session that would take 30-45 minutes to complete with no crowd, can take well over an hour and a half. Not good for time crunched people. So, to overcome these obstacles, I work out at 05:00 in the morning!

My day starts at 04:30, morning rituals, drive to work, in the gym at 05:00 AM. I am currently following this routine that I have found on your website. (Note: in the New Year I will be adding cardio on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to fill out the week). Work out complete, and in my office by 06:00 AM, my work day begins. As my end-of-shift varies from day to day, anywhere from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM, it is difficult to get in the gym at a set time every day. Add in the crowd that is there every day after work, it is difficult to get a work out completed in a reasonable amount of time anyways. Constantly waiting for equipment, etc.

My question is this: How can I improve my morning pre and post work out nutrition? Most importantly, getting the required pre-work out protein…

Eating a protein breakfast 1 to 1 ½ hours before working out would mean I get up at 3:15 – 3:30. (Not going to happen!) Currently, I eat a cereal bar during the drive to the gym. Immediately after the work out I drink a protein drink. About midmorning I have serving of fruit with a serving of yogurt stirred into it. Lunch consists usually of a homemade turkey, chicken, or pork wrap. Afternoon snack consists of nuts and/or dried fruit. Supper is varied as is the evening snack.

My current stats:

  • Age: 57
  • Height: 5’ 9”
  • Weight: 197 lbs (slowly going down!)

As I mentioned above, great website!



Hi Gary,

Thanks for the email and question.

I can certainly understand your situation. Presently, I'm currently working out at 6:30 AM and finding myself in a very similar situation you now find yourself in. Believe me, I'm not a morning person and it is very hard for me to find the motivation to whip up a pre-workout meal at 5:00 AM. I know myself very well and it's only a matter of time before I start to get lazy and simply skimp out on my pre and post workout meal.

So, to overcome this obstacle I have laid down a simple plan that helps me get the pre and post workout nutrition needed to keep growing without having to worry about morning meals. Here's what I do. I'll set up a time during the evening to prepare my morning pre and post workout rituals without sacrificing quality or timing. I'll prepare two drinks, one for my pre workout and another for my post workout. Personally, I prepare two different drinks because my pre workout drink is more carb heavy and my post workout drink is more protein heavy.

My pre workout drink will have a combination of fast, medium and long acting carbohydrates to help kick start my energy levels when I wake up and will help carry me through my workout.

My post workout drink will consist mainly of fast acting carbs but more protein heavy which will help kick start the recovery process and carry me through to my next mid morning meal.

Of course, you don't have to follow the same strategy and simply make one large batch for both your pre and post workout nutrition.

In case you want to follow my pre and post workout strategy, here are the recipes for my drinks:

Pre workout:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of oat powder (simply by some quick oats at your grocery store and blend it into a powder and store in a plastic container)
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3 to 4 ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries (pitted)
  • 1 scoop of chocolate flavoured protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon of flax seed oil

Blend everything up in a blender and store in a shaker bottle. Throw it into your fridge for the night. Also, if it gets too thick, try adding some more water.

Post workout:

  • ½ cup strawberries
  • ½ cup low fat strawberry yogurt
  • ½ banana
  • 1 scoop (2oz) vanilla whey protein powder- 22 grams protein
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • ½ cup water
  • 5 grams creatine monohydrate (micronized)

Blend everything up in a blender and store in a shaker bottle. Throw it into your fridge for the night.

I have my pre workout drink as soon as I wake up, take a shower and get ready to hit the gym. I'll usually make a cup of tea (or hit timmies for some tea) and drink that on my way to the gym. It gives me a boost which helps with the workout.

As soon as the workout is done I drink my post workout drink in the locker room (very important).

That's it. By the time I'm at work, I don't feel too bloated or groggy and will have a cup of coffee to get my day going.

I suggest you read this page here to get a better understanding of pre and post workout strategies:

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I hope this helps Gary,


As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.

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