Morning strength training – on an empty stomach or maybe after a meal?


The biggest siege in the gyms is in the afternoon and evening. The lifestyle that forces us to work or other duties often requires changing training hours for the morning. Will training just after waking up be fully effective? What is best to eat before the morning workout and what after the training? Going further along this trail – is it necessary to eat a pre-workout meal?

Morning training is associated only with cardio training. Of course, this type of training is not bad, but can the morning be combined only with fat burning? What would it look like to build muscle mass, or increase strength if only morning training was involved? The answer may be slightly different to you than the myths on this subject that have been replicated for many years. Check what I have to say about it.

Training just after waking up – what effect?

Writing “just after waking up” I mean about 45-60 minutes after waking up. Early training is probably not possible, because there are some components such as the morning toilet, access to the gym, etc. Although training immediately after waking up causes a lot of controversy, it is an increasingly common form of exercise. Where does it come from? Not everyone has time to train after work / school due to private life (however understood).

Can morning training be as effective as in the afternoon? Amazingly, to find out, you need to check how the rest of the day looks like, namely nutrition and regeneration. If you are fully rested and the calorific balance during the day agrees – this workout will be fully effective. Many old-time bodybuilders say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and training without a proper breakfast will be wasted. Of course, there are many denials of this claim, and the main one is the Intermittent Fasting diet (periodic hunger strike). There are bodybuilders (also in Poland) who rely on this diet and achieve very good results.

A pre-workout meal – what should it consist of?

Let’s find out that you can not imagine training without eating anything before you start, and training on an empty stomach is not very comfortable for your body. What is the best way to eat / drink in this case, to have strength and not to strain the body? It all depends on when you want to start a power struggle after waking up.

Training right after waking up – about 45-60 minutes after waking up. Pre-digesting any meal in the form of a standard dish is simply impossible, which can be extremely troublesome for the stomach. In this case, the best solution is to provide the body with the necessary ingredients in the form of supplements. A good solution would be to take BCAA with simple carbohydrates, or a mini sheikh of whey protein with the addition of a small portion of carbohydrates.

Training about 90-120 minutes after waking up. This case gives much more comfort to the stomach than the previous one. Although it is not a very long time after waking up, you can eat a light meal, which should not rest on the stomach during exercise. If we are talking about a case of 90 minutes – the ideal solution may be a banana and protein (whey protein). In this case the fruits are the most recommended. If we lean towards 2 hours after waking up – we can be tempted to rice, which is digested quite quickly.

Training about 3 hours after waking up. This period is fully sufficient to not feel discomfort during exercise. The consumption of a full breakfast, which may contain up to 20-25% of the daily caloric demand, will not be a problem during training.

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Fasting training – is this a good solution?

Is this form of training a good solution? Well, it depends mainly on the preferences of the person exercising. Some people can not imagine training without a few hearty meals before going to the gym. However, there are people for whom lack of food in the stomach is a reason to conduct a very comfortable workout. It is not said that for any fasting workout will affect well, as well as it is not said that afternoon training will be a better solution. So if you decide to do a morning workout – take into account how your body can react to the short interval between the morning meal and training, as well as the lack of pre-workout meal. If you decide to train on an empty stomach – it would be worth eating the carbohydrate dinner the previous daywhich will certainly contribute to a better quality of training and will not let you fall out of your strength.

What should you remember when training on an empty stomach?

Consume a sufficient supply of carbohydrates for the evening of the previous day. If you plan to train right after waking up – it will be a very good option that will help you maintain strength during exercise for a longer period. Know that if a given food is digested for several hours, this does not mean that after this time you will not have any energy. Supplying energy to the muscles takes many hours after eating a meal.

Try to provide BCAA amino acids before training. Take a dose of 5-10 grams for about 20 – 40 minutes before the planned training. This will protect your muscles against catabolism, and will not burden the stomach, which could worsen the quality of training.

A post-training meal as a full-blown breakfast. If you decided to train on an empty stomach – the most important element should be this meal. Post-training does not mean that you eat directly after training. The optimum period will be a meal intake about 30 – 60 minutes after the end of the training session. Faster intake of a full-value meal is not a good idea due to the incomplete functioning of the digestive system.


All kinds of myths about the ineffectiveness of morning training are just a figment. Both fasting training and a very hearty breakfast can be fully effective. The basis is to maintain adequate caloric supply and not to overuse the body. Remember, however, that if you decide to train on an empty stomach – a meal after finishing the training should be full-fledged and delivered quickly enough.


You can also read: BCAA reduces fatigue during training

Posted on: December 6, 2018

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