What to eat for your morning pre-workout meal


Wondering what to eat before training early in the mornings? We’ve got you covered with easy protein breakfast ideas.

We know that some of you athletes like to get your training done first thing before another busy day begins. Fuelling your workouts with the right nutrition is a must, but with limited time and maybe a smaller appetite, it can be hard to know what to eat for your morning pre-workout meal.

There’s no strict rule about when to eat pre-workout, but we do recommend having something at least an hour before you start your session. This way your body isn’t still digesting when you get moving. But more than anything, the key is to not be over full or too hungry! Overall, it’s all about balance.

Choosing your macros pre-workout

When it comes to choosing your morning workout food, carbs are important!

Your carb intake should be around 3 to12g per kg of bodyweight a day, also depending on your training. We recommend getting in 1g to 4g per kg of bodyweight one to four hours\ before you start your long and intense session, to make sure you have the energy to smash your workout [1].

For example, if you’re a man and weight 80kg, you should look to get a minimum of 80g of carbohydrates. This could be a large banana (31g) on top of a bagel (48g) [2].

You’ll also want to include protein and a little bit of good fats in addition to carbs in your breakfast before training.

Remember, you athletes should be aiming for 1.1g to 1.6g of protein per kg of body weight each day, depending on your bodyweight and workout schedule and style [3]. Protein contains branched chain amino acids (you might have already heard them being called BCAAs, they're in your YoPRO Perform), which are particularly important for athletes because they help with protein synthesis [4]. That’s why we’d recommend looking for a ‘complete’ protein in the morning, like dairy protein or soy, which contain all 9 essential amino acids.

Don’t forget to stay hydrated by drinking water before, during and after your morning workout!

4 breakfast ideas before training to kick off your morning right

So we’ve touched on the importance of protein and carbs and balanced diet, but are you still wondering what to eat before a workout in the morning? These ideas are quick and easy, perfect for those mornings when you just want to roll out of bed and get moving.

1. Oatmeal for a yummy awakening

Warming and versatile, oatmeal can be ready in minutes. Oats are a carbohydrate that give a sustained release of energy, as well as a boost in fibre [5] to help you through your workout. Make it with milk for a bit of protein and sweeten with fruit or honey.

2. Smoothie for a smooth start of the day

Smoothies are quick and easy to make. What’s more, you can try lots of different recipes and flavours, so they’re a great choice for athletes like you who like a bit of variety. Pack them with fresh fruit and veggies to get your carbs, vitamins and minerals. Add a protein source like milk, YoPRO yoghurt or protein powder and a handful of seeds like chia or flaxseeds for a bit of texture and good fats. It’s ready!

3. Yoghurt and granola

Another good breakfast option is the classic yoghurt with homemade crunchy granola. Why’s that? Because granola is mostly made up of wholegrains like oats or spelt, which contain carbs, while yoghurt is a great source of protein to help maintain your muscle mass. If you’re looking for some yoghurt rich in protein, why not trying our delicious YoPRO yoghurt? It’s loaded with at least 15g of protein and comes in a variety of tasty, fruity flavours.

4. Peanut butter and jam on whole wheat toast

For those of you with a sweet tooth, peanut butter and jam on whole wheat toast will hit the spot. Keep this idea in mind for when you have a little bit of time pre-workout in the morning, as it’s higher in fat due to the peanut butter.

Finding what foods work for you before you train is a personal thing. You’ll probably need to experiment with a few different approaches before you find what’s right for you. Keep a note of how your food impacts your workouts, for example what makes you feel energised or sluggish, what makes you focused or light-headed. When you find the choice that helps you feel your best, you’ll know what to eat before training in the future to get the most out of your workouts.

If you’re feeling inspired, we have even more high protein meals for breakfast ideas that will help fuel your workout, so you feel good when you step into the gym or on the field.

Written by: Green Park Content

Any medical advice and views expressed are those of the author; readers should obtain medical advice.


[1] Position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine: Nutrition and Athletic Performance, 2016

[2] United States Department of Agriculture, FoodData Central, https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/748967/nutrients

[3] International Association of Athletics Federations Consensus Statement 2019

[4] ‘What are BCAA?’ Source: Monirujjaman M (2014). "Metabolic and Physiological Roles of
Branched-Chain Amino Acids". Advances in Molecular Biology. 2014: 1–6

[5] https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/18-ways-to-fuel-for-a-6-a-m-workout-what-dietitians-eat-before-they-work-out


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