ask our dietitian your question todaybreakfast versus protein drink before a workout

question-answer-color-v-2I have been working out at LA Fitness Orlando since September. I wake up between 6 and 6:15 a.m. every day, and have breakfast with oatmeal, eggs and fruit. Each day I then workout out from 8 to 8.30 a.m.
I have a goal of increasing muscle mass. Do you think it is good eating this kind of breakfast before a workout? Do you think I need a pre-workout formula just 30 minutes before starting my workout? – Alberto G.



Your breakfast is two hours prior to your workout, so there should be plenty of time to digest small servings of the items you describe. Typical fast-cook oatmeal, an egg plus a few egg whites and an orange would be better for your timeline.

CLICK HERE to read more about pre-workout eating.

For building muscle mass a meal rich in complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fat will do you well. The breakfast you describe sounds suitable without needing anything pre-workout*. The only change I would make would be to shift the fruit to a half-hour before your workout so you have those simple carbohydrates available as ready energy to fuel muscles and stimulate insulin to accept protein after your workout.

*The exception here is that if your caloric needs are high (under 20 years-old or over 200 pounds or training well over an hour) you may in fact need additional fuel. A light formula with a little carbohydrate and fat to accompany the protein would be ideal in this case.

Don’t forget the opportunity for recovery nutrition after your workout. This is particularly important for morning exercise or days you’re running late and skimp on your breakfast.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

Do you have a question about your diet or nutrition?

Ask our dietitian by submitting your question to or simply ask it in the COMMENTS section below. To learn how to follow the “Ask Our Dietitian” Q&A CLICK HERE!

Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.



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