Fueling for a 5am workout

Occasionally, this is the only time I have to get my workout in.

Advice on fueling this workout since I have zero appetite or time to eat?


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Just don’t. Previous day’s glycogen stores are good for 60-90 minute workouts. I do all my training first thing, no fuel except an espresso. :+1:t3:


Have you tried a workout already and couldn’t get through it or are you asking in preparation? How long are your scheduled workouts?

I find that if the workout is ~60 minutes I’m fine without eating anything but that may not be universal.

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There’s a big thread here on exactly your question:


A pint of water, 2 cups of coffee, a dump, and then get on the trainer and start pedalling.

You should be able to do a 60-90 min workout on stored energy. If you can’t then you need to address that…


Why do you sleep so late? :wink: I usually have a cup of black tea when I get up and if its an easier workout 30-1:30 usually just water. If like this morning 1:30 of over unders, I’ll have sports drink 1 bottle. Anything longer and its a bottle of sports drink per hour along with keeping a few gels by my side in case I feel the need. I also tend to make the bottles up the night before and keep them in the fridge, instead of just filling them from the tap in the morning. I have found my body likes the extra cold fluid once I’m on the bike. FYI workout time for me is generally between 3:30 and 4:00am on a weekday. :slight_smile:


Good thread here…


I get up at 4AM and hop straight onto the trainer. I brush my teeth and put my contacts in, but that’s it. Works fine for 60 and 90 minute workouts.

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Yep me too.

Only for over/unders do I take a gel as soon as I get up. Otherwise, double espresso and good to go.


FWIW I’d be looking at why you’re feeling tired. It’s more often sleep rather than fueling.

When I worked a warehouse job I used to do a lot of 4am-5am starts. I struggled before realizing that you’ve got to get to bed by 9-930a to maintain a decent training load on that schedule. Also took a while to learn that sleep timing consistency can impact recovery as much as quantity.

Consistent rest and training with gradual TSS increase is still the only formula I’ve found for long term sustainable improvement.


For early hard workouts, I find that doing them completely fasted (i.e. nothing since dinner the night before) leaves me feeling sluggish and without power towards the end of the workout. I’ve found that a tablespoon of nut butter and tablespoon of jam seems to kick start something that makes those workouts go better, and I feel less like I’m running on fumes. I’ve asked similar questions in various forums recently and the response I usually get is: just do it fasted, and that if it seems hard, your body will adjust eventually. Maybe that’s true (for some people), but I’ve found that little bit of fuel helps me get through the workouts, so I keep doing it.


I need the fuel too. Even on 60 minute rides, I crash at the end when the tank is empty. I don’t see this as a problem though - whatever it takes to perform!

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Just like @ Jhardisk if its SS and harder I need to fuel for early AM workouts. Im doing a 90min SS tomorrow (Mary Austin -1) and Ill do a gel right before and a sports drink with ~70g of crabs. Id bonk otherwise (maybe psychological not sure)

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I usually don’t eat just a muesli bar or equivalent. Or nothing. But then I do make sure to put some SIS carb mix into my bottle (I never go as high as the recommended mixing ratio as that is too sweet for me, though).

I also like to take on some fuel before hard training sessions such as over unders, VO2Max, etc… I don’t like to have any ready made excuses going into these workouts and I figure a few extra calories beforehand isn’t going to throw off my diet since those are calories I’d just end up replacing after the ride.

I don’t love coffee so instead I drink a big glass of Mountain Dew as an easy vehicle to take on caffeine, sugar, and water. If you’re a coffee person, you could simply add sugar to your coffee which would be very easy to digest and wouldn’t take any additional time to make.

Whatever floats your boat mate. :smile:

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I’ve started doing morning workouts more (after having to miss a few evening sessions due to work) and find a short black coffee and one weetabix is good as gets something in the stomach but really plain. Lamarck today and got through that so it seems to work.

For an early morning ride I’ll eat a granola bar (nature valley oats & honey), drink ~300ml of water, and hop on the bike. 20, 40, 60 minutes into the ride, eat.

This is for a ~100 mile ride. If I’m only going to be riding for 90 minutes or less I’ll just have a cup of tea and get on the bike.

Of course, have all your water/liquid nutrition/gels selected & in place the night before.

@Crowman Common, I’m a fairly new cyclist, Im not “fat adapted” I need my crabs!

Usually ground up, shell and all!!! :slight_smile:


usually i will glurp down one or two soft boil egg before my session. I find that works well