Early morning fueling?

A couple of quick things: you can train your gut to be better at emptying the GI quicker so that after meals you are able to train quickly. I used to eat 1 hour before Sunday group rides and felt sick and sluggish, but persisted and can quite happily consume a good sized meal half an hour before smashing it to the ride because I’ve overslept and am going to be late.
Another option is to carb load the night before, and then just before riding and during it, do mouth rinsing with carbs as this has been shown to be very effective for time trial performance where high performance and intensity are required. Then after the session, refuel adequately

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Get ‘em, @Sir_Brian_M ! :joy:


I fuel the same way indoors as outdoors with 2 XL Medjool Dates as I am drinking my coffee and then 2 XL Dates per 1/2 hour with anything approaching 1 hour and beyond.

Recovery type rides I just ride without fueling.

So a couple of questions for the coaches. It seems from the responses that nobody is eating 3 hours before a morning workout. And many are eating less than 30 minutes before riding, if at all.

But there is a 2 1/2 hour window between the ideal 3 hours and the undesirable 1/2 before.

What does fueling in that zone look like? More specifically would eating a high GI meal an hour before lead to a sub-optimal performance due to spiking insulin and resulting low blood sugar?

If there is no ideal way to avoid an insulin spike, could it be mitigated by doing an extra warmup immediately after eating?

My go to depends on the timing of when I’m riding and I’ve found good stable blood sugar levels from these approaches, although everyone’s individual experience will vary. My meal stays pretty similar and consists of 100g oats, 15g mixed seeds, a banana, 400g water. It varies slightly based on time before training
3 hours before hand: 100% rolled oats, topped with additional fruit (more fibre and slower release)
1-2 hours beforehand: 50/50 split of rolled oats to cut oats, reduced quantity of berries
<1 hour beforehand: 100% cut oats, no additional fruit other than banana, maybe some maple syrup on top but not a huge amount.
The problem with general rules of them about carb consumption, GI and insulin sensitivity is that it is all very individual so varies a lot between people, and even varies within the individual based on many many other factors


Thanks @Coach.Andy.T! That makes a lot of sense.

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Thanks @Coach.Andy.T can you explain the difference between cut vs rolled oats? Presumably the cut are digested faster and you get through the blood sugar spike quicker? I have oats in the morning also, before I train before the household wakes up. Will try hunt down cut oats.

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I was curious and looked it up. Cut versus Rolled Oats


Interestingly that says that the rolled oats have a higher GI than the cut ones. I’d argue it’s the other way around and I’ve found the rolled oats take longer to digest and require more water to cook

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Steel cut = Pinhead oatmeal in Scotland, normally eaten toasted with whipped cream, whisky, honey and raspberries to make a dessert called Cranachan, or baked with butter/lard to make coarse oatcakes ( like a coarse oatmeal cracker). I wouldn’t want to eat either less than 2-3 hours before a high intensity workout.

Porridge can be made with any type of oats but making it with pinhead is so traditional I’ve never been served it or met someone who has in my 15 years of living in Scotland.


Hungry now…thanks @JGreengrass . :drooling_face:

Hang on: whisky for breakfast? That’s hard livin’! :smiley:

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Whiskey is for drinking. Water is for fighting over.” - Mark Twain


I’m up most mornings at 5am and have coffee plus some Laird Superfood creamer and water. By 5:30 AM I’m on the turbo for 45 to 60 minutes with varying degrees of intensity (depending on what SYSTM has planned for me that day).

Open question to folks like @Coach.Andy.T - is the addition of something with MCT in my morning coffee a poor choice? Should I just do black coffee and water?

I use Tailwind endurance fuel drink. 200 cals in 720ml bottle, I find this works well and does not make you feel sick, easy on the taste buds also.

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I usually wake up at 5:45, make 1 electro bottle and 1 recovery drink bottle. I eat small Japanese bean bar while I mix the drinks and am one the bike by 6. If its a hard one, I down a gel and open some cola bottles or similar for the interval rewards. After, I down the recovery drink, shower and eat breakfast which is oatmeal mixed with dates, bananas and maybe other mixed fruit and then toast, some more fruit and a yogurt with a nice cup of tea in there too. Probably not the best person to model yourself on.

I assume that you aren’t eating beforehand then?

Not when I’ve just rolled out of bed😂. I’m not organised enough to sort out eating and waiting for it to be digested. With the family work and dog walking commitments I would probably need to get up 3 hours before I went to bed. I do try to do evening training but if I need to do mornings I find the tail wind is the best fit.


I need some of that Cranachan. Just finished Full Monty. LOL

i’m a tailwind user too. love the stuff. Overall a game changer to eat more on rides, even easier ones, if they’re long enough.

I also always eat something before workouts that are either long or hard (unless very, very short in which case i just rely on tailwind and maybe a gel). If I can eat a few hours before, i eat more and heavier (e.g., pancakes with peanut butter), if I’m not able to eat until right before the workout, i’ll have some toast with jam. It’s a sliding scale, sort of like Coach Andy’s. My sweetspots for eating tend to be a few hours before (big/heavy), or just before getting on the bike (light and small). If i split the difference and eat like one hour or 45 mins before, i feel worse.

Oh and always coffee, cannot get enough of the stuff.

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