Timing Breakfast and Workouts

Good morning! We have reached hump day!

Monday flew by in a whirlwind and Tuesday I felt like I didn’t have enough time in the day to get everything done. I really hope today settles down a bit.


I have an interesting topic for you today. I don’t post about food too often because honestly it is not what my blog is about (I am never going to be a “foodie”) AND because I am still working on figuring out exactly what works for my body.  

I thought today I would get your opinion on something.


I got up this morning and knew that I would be on the treadmill within an hour. I had to get my run/walk in before my husband got home from work since he would need the treadmill.

There was about 50 minutes in between the time that I woke up and the time that I hopped on the treadmill.


I have mentioned in a few previous posts that I have a pretty sensitive stomach. I have to watch what I eat pre-workout and what I drink during.

Normally I wake up about 2 hours before heading to the gym, drink coffee, eat breakfast, and by the time I begin my workout my stomach has digested the food and I am ready to go.

This morning however I didn’t have enough time to allow food to digest before I started my workout. 


I felt guilty and odd not eating breakfast right away, because since I started getting my diet under control breakfast has become a very important meal to me.

I did have my normal morning coffee and then hopped on the treadmill right on time.

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The workout went great, there were no problems, and then I ate breakfast once I was done.

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In case you are wondering I ran 3.5 miles at a 9:50 pace and then walked to finish out the hour for a total of 1.6 miles.

The workout went by quickly party because I hooked up the iPad to watch the latest episode of Hart of Dixie.

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I think iPads are some of the greatest inventions ever. 


When I used to work full time I had no choice but to get up super early and eat breakfast after my run, but now that I get up slightly later it just doesn’t feel the same.


After my workout was done this morning I went straight to the kitchen and fixed myself breakfast. Today I opted for 2 eggs scrambled with spinach and a rice cake with vanilla almond butter and honey.

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It was the perfect amount after workout, but if I had taken it before it wouldn’t have been settled by the time I started running.

Breakfast has a ton of benefits:

-Boosts your metabolism

-Helps keep you attentive and focused

-Helps with weight control (if you are looking to lose weight which I am not)

-Gives you energy for your day (or workout!)

-Helps avoid over eating later


So tell me….

Do you always get up in enough time to eat breakfast in the morning or do you sometimes opt to eat after your workout?

About Sara

Welcome to my blog! My name is Sara and this blog documents my journey as a wife and a runner. I train hard and put my heart and soul into my running. My life is a crazy journey full of ups and downs, and I am here to share it all with you!


  1. If I work out right after I get up, I usually either don’t eat anything or just have something really small (like a piece of toast with PB) or a mini Cliff Bar. It really depends on the workout. I can run 3 miles without any food, but going to a 60 minute hot yoga class seems to be too much on an empty stomach.

  2. I like to have a little something in my stomach before I work out in the morning. Usually during the week I will have a honey stinger waffle (or half of one if my workout is short) and some coffee. I then warm up inside before heading out for my run and this works really well for me. It took me a long time to figure this out and I’m sure its different for everyone. The honey stinger waffles are supposed to be able to be used during exercise, so I have zero issues with working out right after I have one.

  3. If I run in the morning, I always eat after. Unless I’m running more than 10 miles, in which case I’ll have a small serving of oatmeal. My stomach is uber sensitive too. I am also in recovery from bulimia, and even though I was told not to do this, I find it works for me. I know that I will eat breakfast after my workout (it’s my safest meal of the day). And honestly? I don’t have the gall to get up at 5:00am just to eat!

  4. First, focusing on proper nutrition and fueling is REALLY important and hard (especially for those of us with food and body image issues). So congrats to you on that!

    For myself, on weekdays I get up and go out running after only water and my thyroid meds (well, also feeding dogs, cats, getting coffee ready,etc). When I come back I shower before breakfast. On weekends I will generally have a small breakfast before my run (on days when Lisa has to work) and then ‘second breakfast’ when I get home.

    Just FYI, though – a rice cake is supposed to be one of the WORST things you can eat according to recent studies. It was on the list of ‘foods a nutritionist would never eat’, because it has a terrible glycemic index and offers basically no nutrition or fiber and is converted straight into sugar in the body. Unless you can’t tolerate the gluten, you are much better taking a few extra calories and much more nutrition from a slice of whole grain bread.

    • Thanks for the info :) I actually knew I needed something besides just eggs and spinach and our house is a bit bare on the food front because of some budgeting issues SO I just went with what we had. On our next grocery stop bread is on the top of my list :)

      • Totally understand that! I just know that – similar to ‘fat free dressings’ – as someone who lost weight in the 80s and 90s, rice cakes were an absolute essential!

  5. I guess I am one of the “lucky ones” that can eat a full breakfast + coffee and then get out and run (or bike or swim) within about 30 minutes. I think for me this is necessary because I can’t ever skip a meal and when you consider that I haven’t eaten since 7 pm the night before, I really need food. I love all my meals and am up so early I actually eat 2 breakfasts! YAY.

    • Yes you are lucky! I would love to be able to do that :) I usually eat after 7:00 pm so that probably helps as well.

      2 breakfasts are so much better than 1 in my opinion!

      • Two breakfasts are better than one! One is savory (eggs, guacamole on a wrap + fruit) and the other is sweet (oatmeal with apples, flaxseed and almonds). I love them both :)

  6. Some mornings I wake up ravenous, so I eat pretty much upon wake up. Some days, I’m just not that hungry so I would rather wait but these days my kiddo wakes up at 5 just ravenous himself, so I make our eats at that time. I agree with the above that it depends what kind of workout you are doing, if it is like 10+ miles, I think everyone needs some sustenance, but I’ve read things as well that point out the contrary. It’s too confusing!

  7. I workout really early – on work days I have to be at they gym (or out the door for my run if it’s not icy) by 5:30, so I generally just have a large glass of water. If I know I’ll be expending a little more effort, or go on a longer run, I’ll have a glass of apple juice. However, since I’ll start training for my first half soon, I’ll have to do some more experimenting in this area to see what works with me for runs longer than 6 miles.

    • I think everyone has to play around and see what works for them. I drink throughout my run but I think if i drank an entire glass of water before my workout it would be sloshing around and I would cramp up – would love to be able to do that though!

  8. I have to eat a solid breakfast before working out and as long as I give myself about an hour to digest it is good. Plus I keep things simple plain oatmeal and a banana. But being on many different teams and talking with others I have learned this is so different for everyone!I think a lot of it is 1. getting up early enough so that you do have at least an hour and 2. Training your body to take/digest food before working out. It doesn’t happen automatically! If for some reason I have less than an hour to digest I will grab a bar and a banana and my stomach can handle that. Once again, so different for everyone! You have to experiment with different stuff and then train your body by being consistent with it.

  9. This is something that I have been doing a good job of since I graduated from college. Throughout college I was always adamant about eating before practice but practice was at 6:30 which gave me plenty of time to wake up and eat oatmeal and a banana before practice. Now that I usually run at 5 AM there isn’t really room to wake up and eat before (or I’d have to be up at 3:45 – that’s just not happening) so I usually end up just eating a few energy chews before I go out and throughout my run and then eat a substantial breakfast when I’m done with my run. If I’m going for a long run though I make sure to schedule the run a little later 6 or 6:30 so that I can wake up and eat some real food beforehand otherwise the run is not pretty!

  10. I like to read your blog but there is ONE certain commenter who seems to provide unwarranted and unnecessary feedback to your every move. Eat rice cakes if you want to for goodness sake! You’re an active young person and shouldn’t allow yourself to be shamed by your food choices.

    Anyway, glad that you’re feeling better.

  11. In the summer, when the afternoons are too hot, I run in the mornings before work. This is usually no later than 5 am. Since I refuse to get up earlier than 4:30, I usually dont eat before these runs. If its a hard tempo run or a run longer than say, an hour, I might have a cup of coffee and some dates or dried fruit. I have a pretty strong stomach, so digestion isn’t usually an issue for me.
    This time of year, I run in the afternoons during the work week, so its not an issue as I am usually fueled from throught out the day.
    On the weekends, when I have more time, I need to eat a good bit , especially before my long run- so I usually eat oatmeal with peanut butter and other stuff , coffee and then run about 2 hours later. I also take fuel with me on my long runs that are longer than about 12 miles.
    Usually if you arent super hungry and the run isnt too strenous, I would think it would be fine to wait. For me though, I couldnt sit around and wait to run without eating something.
    I also like rice cakes.. mainly as a vehicle for peanut butter.

  12. When I don’t have time to eat before a run I usually sneak a mini Larabar or a banana. Ya know?

  13. I typically work out after work during the week. But on the weekends I will sometimes go mid-morning. I will usually eat something small beforehand like a Greek yogurt or a slice of Ezikiel bread with almond butter.

  14. great points!! for me it definitely depends how long i’m going to be working out. sometimes if i’m in a rush but my stomach is rumbling i’ll eat a date or two with pb because they don’t upset my stomach. those eggs look delish, btw! although after running 5+ miles your body needs some carbs, too! 😛

  15. I often just get up and go … I think it’s fine as long as you’re not waiting too long between waking up and exercising, and that you eat right afterwards! But it really depends on the person! I posted about this a while ago and found it really interesting to hear people’s preferences!

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