01 Mar Six Ways to Fuel Pre-Dawn Workouts

When my twin sister Laurel and I were competitive swimmers in high school, our team practiced three days a week at 5:30 a.m. I’d set my alarm at 4:47, tiptoe downstairs to the dark kitchen, and make myself breakfast. I’d alternate between maple and brown sugar instant oats and frozen cinnamon rolls reheated in the microwave. No joke! Meanwhile, Laurel stayed in bed until a minute before our car pool pulled into the driveway, fumbled for her cap and goggles, and ate a piece of peanut butter toast or banana on the way to the Y.

Our pre-workout eating habits haven’t changed much. I still wake up extra early to have a full meal before masters swim practice, and Laurel continues to be a grab-n-go fueler for these early morning sessions. Since not all athletes have the same habits, not even identical twins, here six ways to fuel for a pre-dawn workout to suit your personality type:

You like to maximize sleep: grab an XRCEL, a banana, and an espresso on the way out the door.

You’re a planner: dig into your supply of make ahead tropical fruit overnight oats or chia muesli.

You’re superstitious: eat the same thing you always eat. For lots of us that’s nut butter, honey, and banana, on a bagel, right?

You want to eat your treat before you earn it: have a healthy donut. We make these and keep them in the freezer, then reheat one at time in the microwave.

You want an edge (from oxygen flow enhancing nitrites): sprinkle beetroot powder on your instant oats

You’re a kitchen ninja at 5am: whip up a smoothie bowl sweetened with XRCEL.

No matter how you choose to fuel pre-workout, here’s a helpful hint for all personality types: Have an XRCEL handy to top off your glucose supply AFTER your workout. This will help speed up recovery and prepare your body for it’s next mission.

-Rebeccah Wassner, Athlete Food

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