This morning marked the beginning of the CYC Fitness 10,000 Calorie Challenge. Depending on your attitude toward exercise, you may view two weeks of 7 AM spin classes as a great way to nab that spring break bod, or, alternatively, as a complete submission to insanity. If you’re a CYC Challenge member or grade A slender student, then I’m going to assume you’re part of the former group and this post is for you.
Fueling up before a morning workout is a tricky beast, but after doing some research, I’ve set these guidelines for myself that will get me through the 10K Calorie Challenge. If you attended the Slender Student + Kitchenability event, then you might already be familiar with these general rules. Here’s my morning timeline:
6:15 AM: alarm goes off; I think about snoozing it; I remember I’m going on a cruise over spring break; I shed one single tear; I get out of bed to do the things humans do upon waking up
6:30 AM: eat a small banana (I’ll explain why in a sec) and sip on water until I’m hydrated but not bloated
7:00 – 7:50 AM: do work at CYC; burn like a zillion calories; sweat through my tank top; leave CYC looking like I’ve just been tortured, but feeling like this
8:10 AM: get back home and straight chow on some overnight oats that I prepped the night before (recipe & explanation why below)
So what makes it worthwhile to break up your breakfast like this if you’re working out early in the morning? Think about it, while you sleep, you’re not eating (unless Ambien is making you do some strange things). This means that when you wake up, your blood glucose is at fasting level. Work out while your body is in that state, and you’re basically running on empty. No bueno. Add a banana (or any fruit, all natural fruit juice, or other fast carbohydrates) to your morning (about 30-60 minutes before your workout) in order to restore your glucose levels and give you something to charge your body. Drink up, too. You’re probably dehydrated after 6-8 hours of shut eye.
My overnight oats recipe is the perfect post-workout breakfast for a number of reasons. First of all, the protein (from the oats and protein powder) will help re-build the muscles that you just tore up during your workout. Secondly, the fat, fiber, and whole grains (from the almond milk and oats, respectively) will fill you up until lunch. My oats of choice these days consist of: 1/2 C instant oats, 1/2 C unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 scoop or 2 T whey protein powder, and 1/2 C blueberries mixed up and refrigerated the night before in a small, portable container.
If you’re feeling a bit more creative, check out my recipe for PB Banana Overnight Oats.
Now, who’s CYCd for tomorrow’s spin + yoga class?
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