Adjusting to early morning workouts

Hi all! I have recently switched from late evening training to early morning training. After a couple week adjustment I am finally getting used to it. I am getting about the same amount of sleep (maybe a touch less) but am sleeping more soundly compared to when I trained at 9pm. My only issue is that I am quite a bit more tired during the day. Any tips to keep my energy up (without caffeine)? After a steady 3 weeks of morning training, is this something that I will become more and more used to, and my energy will come back?

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Eating is the only thing I’ve found to really help me other than taking a 20 minute nap. If a nap is an option, great! Otherwise, ensure you are getting food in you after the workout.

Adjusting to a new work load takes me some time as well. When I first started biking a bit more seriously, I was out of commission for a good hour or two mentally at work first thing in the morning. This went away over a few weeks.


I’ve found fuelling helps. I try to carb load the night before, but since I started having a carb mix during the workout I’m not as bad for the rest of the day. I take it as more starting the recovery than fuelling the workout, for the 1 hour or less workouts.

I’m a bit on the fence about recovery specific shakes when I’ve the whole day to refuel (evidence just isn’t really there). I have started doing a smoothie straight after workouts rather than waiting for my post shower porridge/ oatmeal. It’s pretty much the same ingredients, nutri ninja’d. So frozen fruit, porridge/ oat meal, milk, whey protein. It’s probably a bit of half way house, but it could be a totally wrong assumption that blitzing speeds up carb absorption a little? Anyway, regardless N=1 is it’s working for me so far.

It could be nothing to do with shake v porridge, and just the routine of the pre-prepared smoothie meaning I’m straight into work post shower rather than winding down and then trying to go again!

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I cant get enough food in early in the morning, the work outs are just grinders. Maybe night time carb load?

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It’s taken me a while to adjust - I used to really struggle with intensity in the mornings.

My n=1 is that there was time for the body (and mind) to adjust. Evening fuelling and then fuelling at the start seemed to help me too. The fuelling could also be helping the mind. And sleep - going to bed early enough was probably the hardest adjustment.

It’s the time that works for me, work and family wise, so I’ve also just committed to it. I definitely found them harder when it was occasional early ones, and a mix and match of mornings and evenings (even if not on consecutive days).

Kinda feel like I’m twiddling my thumbs waiting for my Saturday rides now - they start too late over winter!


Once I am up I don’t find it is to bad. I have a bowl of oat bran or muesli about an hour before bed the night before then fuel depending on the workload of the workout. This morning was Lamarck so I had a 500ml bottle of carb drink and 12 jelly babies ready to go. I had 3 jelly babies in each valley - I think that was more psychological than anything. I get showered and have some choc milk and then drive to work and have some muesli at my desk at work.

I don’t get too tired during the day. Can occasionally feel it after lunch but finish at 3 and normally perk up for hometime but that might just be work! Desk based job so doesn’t affect me too much.

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This thread shares some users’ experience with a pre-bedtime snack/meal to have some more carb on board.

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This is super helpful. Thanks guys! I think part of it may be a fueling issue. I usually start my ride with not much food in my system, and have no trouble getting thru the workouts, but am probably waiting too long afterwards before getting some food in and it is catching up with me later in the day.

I take a gel 15 min before the ride and carb drink during. Glycogen depletion is what makes you tired and fatigued during the day.

A full meal should be spaced 2-3 hours before a ride, which you probably don’t have time for in the morning. Food just can’t digest that fast.

Are you tracking calories burned and calories consumed?

When you first switch to morning rides it is important to remember you’re starting with a fairly empty stomach - even if you eat on the bike you may need to adjust your food consumption timing for the rest of the day to help your body recover.

I usually start exercising at 5am. About 12-1pm I start to fade out. I have started having a 2nd cup of coffee, made VERY VERY weak (just enough to flavor really). Might be part placebo; part hot drink (supposed to help reset the system as I work in a freakin cold office); and the hint of caffeine can help. No problems crashing by 8pm.

Make sure you are eating enough. I am getting to where I struggle with this.

I second the nap idea. I work out in the mornings then sit in front of a computer all day. I work remote so I he no physical meetings or anything to break up the sedentary drudgery. Around 2pm I start to fall apart with fatigue. I find a brief nap helps, or a scheduled walk for 15 minutes. I try to avoid afternoon caffeine, it seems to make things worse and also affects my sleep.
Also yes on eating enough, before you get hungry, keep tasty snacks and fruit handy all day.


I am definitely eating enough, because my weight has gone up a couple pounds since starting morning workouts. It may just be a matter of timing everything properly around my workouts. Thoughts?