High intensity workouts in the morning? How do you fuel?

+1 for carbs the noght before (just carb rich dinner, really).

Then wake up, drink two glasses of water + caffeine pill, then spend 10 minutes brushing teeth and dragging bottles out of my fridge. Jump on the bike within 15 minutes of the alarm clock.

For high intensity ride: drink about 60g of maltodextrin per hour, spreading it every 10 minutes (I can‘t stomach much more early in the morning).

For endurance rides: exactly the same, maybe a banana or two extra added since my system is more relaxed…

It’s 5 am right now , just had a couple servings of cereal… and a coffee… I woke up at 4:45am, for context.
I have a couple clif bars and Gatorade for during the sweet spot workout lined up today.
Sometimes I use straight up maple syrup and snack on cereal during the workout…
the workout today is 90 mins long and I’m eating about 50 grams carbs 30 minutes before and have about 130 grams of carbs for during…
then I’ll eat breakfast right after as my “ recovery” meal.
I completed a full season with Criterium as my focus with this fueling strategy. Most of my workouts were going at 5- 6 AM

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Like others have posted, I’ve found that two bowls of cereal 1h before bed work, and just have a banana, big glass of water and an espresso before going out in the morning. I’ll also take a bottle of carbs to drink during the ride, sometimes two if it is a longer ride (90min+). I’ll also have a recovery drink when I get home and then a bowl of oats and fruit and then I’m good until lunch.

My biggest challenge by far is doing high intensity intervals in the early morning (5/6am starts). I have no problem doing 20min SS intervals; my mind, legs and heart can handle that just fine. I struggle immensely doing 2-5min efforts at that time of morning. I just can’t do them, no matter how many times I’ve tried. Those workouts are saved for a lunch break or evening.

Sounds good! But if I may ask, how do you handle going to the toilet in the morning? 15-20 min after the coffee I always have to go to the toilet and that expands my time window a lot… :roll_eyes:

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Same thing happens to me I usually get myself 30-45 minutes in the morning for that reason. Although I have ran to the bathroom a couple times during a rest interval To take care of that LOL

Some existing threads worth a read.


I should add that with my porridge I do a lot more fruit than normal, since it’s sugary and does not sit in your stomach, and I cover mine in honey. Adding honey is a great way to add flavor, calories, and sugar without any “size or weight” to your meal.
I used to do Greek yogurt, if you like that. Just make sure it’s one with fruit or sugars.

If you have a healthy diet there should be no need to fuel beforehand or during. High intensity sessions are not long enough to burn through your stores. Just ensure to replenish / fuel afterwards.


I mean, some of the -workouts are fairly short, but not all. There is no reason NOT to fuel during, as has been amply suggested in the forum and podcast. You do your body a disservice to not adequately fuel the rides unless you are specifically targeting a fasted ride. No way I could do a 2 hour v02 ride without fuel.

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And how much of that is VO2 effort? I do not anyone who can hold vo2 for two hours.

My dietician has told me it’s possible to do any
1-1.5 hour workout of any intensity without anything but water maybe some electrolytes. But she did tell me that if I want to improve my performance fueling workouts is the way to go for improved recovery and glycogen replenishment. So it’s up to you if you want better performance or trying to lose weight…


Then 30-90 minutes of endurance work after the prescribed workout. Even if I was only doing an hour total of still fuel it during, though.

Overnight Oats with Canadas Best and Cinnamon, Banana OJ Smoothie with Creatine and Total War… wait for your eyes to pop out of your skull then get on the bike!

So 24 mins of high intensity over 1.5 hours not two hours of vo2 max. Why you think it’ll exhaust your glycogen in that time I know not.

Simple carbs, electrolytes, water. Same composition as you’ll have on the bike. Drink it ~15-20min prior to riding. Not 30min prior. Make it the night before, for ease of access in morning. Store in fridge or add ice in morning if temperature regulation may be challenged due to indoor riding.

Worry about getting a balanced meal after training with protein, fiber, fat, and of course more carbs and fluid.

The only goals in short-turnaround pre-workout consumption should be:

  1. Elevate blood sugar
  2. Top off hydration
  3. Avoid gastrointestinal distress.

No special fueling the night before is necessary if you’re consuming carbs around the clock, as normal. Any consumption the night before just serves to top up glycogen stores, and there is no special need to do so at night, when training first thing the next morning. Feeding with carbs late at night won’t result in elevated blood sugar (goal number 1) pre-training for your first-thing session. That’s not to say “don’t do it,” but just to say that any focus on this nighttime feeding is unnecessary assuming normal dietary habits with sufficient carb consumption.


Yes, but it’s a 2-3 hour workout. Even the prescribed workout with nothing else would be a death march with no breakfast or fueling. That goes against everything we learn or have been taught. Why would you NOT fuel? No way I’m doing 24 minutes of 420 watts without fuel-thats just too many calories burned including the entire ride.
Again, short hour or less rides CAN be done without fuel, but unless it’s specifically a fasted ride or for serious weight loss, why would you say it’s good to not fuel? There is no reason NOT to fuel in those instances.

Ill be honest having now done this routine for over 6 months by body seems to of shifted and I am now ready to go as soon as I wake up, so the coffee comes afterwards :slight_smile:

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Glass of water, Make coffee, straight on bike. (within 15mins of waking)

Extend warmup 5 mins, after workout openers, drink coffee, take a gel and I’m ready to go.

I believe alot of it is physcological, I can feel really not up for it when waking but after going through this routine for 5+yrs, my body wakes up after the warm up and I’m usually successful in the workout

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What you posted was 1.5 hours. Is there some other workout you meant to post?

For me sometimes a banana maybe if it is a big session during the week otherwise it is straight on the bike 10 mins after waking with carb drink through the session. On the weekend for long rides I wil after some overnight oats before hitting the bike. I typically don’t bother with coffee etc I just get started.