You already know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But what you actually eat (and drink) for breakfast is also important, especially on those days you plan to exercise. Here's a guide to help you easily plan your breakfast menu around your exercise.
Timing is everything.
Try eating a light meal and hydrate within an hour or two of exercising so your body has the nutrients and fluids it needs.
Next to consider is how long you'll be working out. For exercise lasting an hour or less — an aerobics class or a quick run, for instance — eat lightly and focus on carbs: toast with fruit spread, cereal, fruit are all good choices. Skip fried and fatty foods and big portions of protein, all of which take hours to digest.
If you'll be working out for longer than an hour, make sure you've eaten a larger balanced meal earlier with protein, complex carbs, etc. Egg whites and lean turkey bacon are fine choices.
What to drink?
If a cup or two of coffee or tea is a regular part of your breakfast menu, you needn't eliminate it before your workout. In fact, caffeine has been shown to enhance athletic performance! Also, drink 8 to 16 ounces of water about an hour before you work out, and continue to drink 4 to 6 ounces every 30 minutes so you don't begin to feel thirsty. Thirst is a sign of dehydration. Weighing yourself before and after you exercise is a good way to find out how much water you've lost (and therefore need to replace) through sweating: one pound is equal to 16 ounces.