This morning I tried to give the Tone It Up Booty Call a boost.  The “Booty Call” says to wake up and go for a 30 minute walk or jog right away with out eating anything, you may have a glass or two of water.  I used to do it this winter with just walking and upped the intensity today to a jog to incorporate my Urbanathlon training.  I have long resisted this information because I’ve read so many conflicting studies about eating before you exercise in the AM.  

So how did it go?  AWFUL!  I had zero energy.  I could not get my heart rate above 171 for the life of me.  It was terrible.  I stopped after 28 minutes.  Katrina told me that this was because it was my first time trying the booty call with added intensity on an empty stomach.  The booty call is for accelerated fat loss and my slug-like performance was because my body is not yet efficient in breaking down triglycerides for energy.  She said it would get easier.  Hopefully in 2 weeks, I’ll be able to do it with a higher intensity.

But since I’m training for the Urbanathlon, I do need some extra energy.  Since I’m pretty close to my goal body fat percentage, and I’m training to run 12 miles with obstacles, I need enough energy to get me through my intense workouts.  The booty call is ideal for anyone looking to burn off ab fat and jump start their weight loss.  It’s not comfortable but changing your body isn’t suppose to be!

Conclusion: I need to eat something before I workout in the morning.  If I had eaten something I would have been able to exercise longer, at a higher intensity (which I need for my Urbanathlon training) and consequently, burned more calories, including calories from fat.  For someone like myself who is training, bring a snack like banana chips or G Series Fit Replenish for added energy during the workout.  Another idea is to exercise for 30 minutes, then have your snack.  Instead of pre-workout energy is become mid-workout energy.  If you are not training for a race, do try the booty call for accelerated fat loss, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose.

However, everyone’s body is different.  Find what works best for you.  Katrina swears by the booty call!

If you have tried the booty call and still cannot get your body to perform the way you want it, a good strategy is to have something small before you go.  I’ve decided to give you a list of my favorite snacks pre-workout, pre-breakfast.

1. Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Light or Sharp Original

The 6 grams of protein are perfect for a pre-workout snack.  The protein will force your body to use stored carbs and fat, preventing your body from burning muscle during your workout. With just 50-calories in the Light and 60 in the Sharp Original, you don’t have to worry about negating the calorie burning benefits of your workout, and you can still enjoy a yummy breakfast when you get back.



2. G Series Prime Bar

This is one of my newest best friends.  Yes, I’m writing the blog Crushing The Course on behalf of Gatorade but I truly have found a friend in the prime bars.  I have been having one before my workouts and have found that it gives me the energy boost that I need.  Best of all, it comes in a pack of 4.  If you are planning some serious lifting or cardio, have 2 or all 4 for the energy that you need.  The bar combined protein and carbs to maximize your energy levels.  I swear there is caffeine in there but the label says no.

3. Half a banana

Yes, I said just half of a banana.  That way you can come home and eat the other half with your protein pancake!  The 50 calories of straight carbs will energize your early morning exercise.  I have found that one half provides enough energy and does not ruin the fun in getting to enjoy a good breakfast after your workout!

4. 1 Scoop of Protein Powder

This has a few more calories in it than the rest listed above but will keep you muscles from using themselves for energy.  Not sure which brand to choose?  Check out my guide to choosing the right protein powder and find out my favorites.  Add it to water for a lower calorie option.

5. Slice of Ezekial Bread with Strawberry Preserves

This is also one of my favorite hang over breakfast cures so if you’ve had too many cocktails the night before, this may be a good bed (as would the banana).  The bread provides long lasting, slow releasing energy and the jam will deliver a quick shot of energy as it’s digested faster.

*These suggestions are for people looking to lose a few pounds.  If you are hoping to maintain your weight or train for a serious competition or race, a larger meal may be necessary.  I am also a contributor for Laughing Cow and Crushing The Course. I believe in their products and use them regularly, pinky swear!

Question:  What do you eat before an early morning workout session? Leave a comment down below!

Top 5 Pre-Workout Early Morning Snacks

About The Author


  • Ceara

    I follow (at least 80% of the time!) the TIU plan and also cannot do the booty call on an empty stomach! Maybe if you persevere with it, it gets easier but I really need to eat something like 1/2 banana first just like you! different strokes for different folks I guess! good luck with the urbanatholon!

  • gabriella @ embracement

    Totally agree, I always work out better after I’ve eatten something. My schedule allows me to have breakfast, digest, and workout right before lunch. But even when I was working I’d wake up earlier so I could eat before the gym, it’s just much more productive for me

    • Sarah

      I’d rather burn more calories overall and feel energized than sluggish and unaccomplished at the end of a workout. My schedule is forgiving as well. We are lucky 🙂

  • Sarah

    I actually have found that, if I’m going to run, just a spoonful of PB or AB gets me through. Otherwise an empty stomach works perfectly for me! I do yoga or TIU routines. I can even get through most of their DVD on an empty stomach (easier if I had a more proteiny dinner the night before). I do find I have more energy throughout the day. Lately it’s been getting OUT of bed that’s the trouble….haha! But it’s DEFINITELY up to each individual to chose what works best for them, and it’s good to try everything. People get too hung up on “rules” when they are really guidelines meant to be adapted to your specific needs.

    • Sarah

      Yeah, I’m good with 50 calories but I agree, everyone is very different. Take my “roomie” for example, I think he can go all day without eating! lol

      • Sarah

        Haha some people! I’m super glad that Katrina was able to answer some of the questions. I love that you and they (Tone It Up) are always there to look into everything for your clients. The science is important, and while some people will still need that spoonful of AB or a banana, knowing why something is recommended is crucial. Love the science!!

  • Mariella (Musing on Beauty)

    Hi Sarah, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today 🙂
    I have tried working out right after I got up and only got super nauseous! I guess different things work for different people but for me, I definitely need to eat something. I like your suggestions, because I never know what to eat so that isn’t too much either, so that’s great!

  • Katie

    When I wake up, sometimes I’m not hungry and can go and workout. My rule of thumb-if it works for me, I’ll stick with it. Once it backfires, I will definitely experiment and find a new strategy! But, bananas are my go-to quick energy source when I need something fast!

  • Kala

    Just for the sake of time, I usually don’t eat before my early morning workout. I also think its part mental, if you say “UGH Im so tired” or “Im starving and have no energy” youre not going to work nearly as hard. I try and be as positive and energetic as I possibly can early in the morning. Thats what gets me through I think. Positive = Positivity

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss

    I used to be able to workout on an empty stomach and thought it was fine until I worked out a few times after having a little something and could *really* workout! My favorite snack is a wasa cracker, half a banana, and some PB. That’s the perfect amount the give me some fuel through a tough workout and still be able to actually eat once I get home.

  • Lauren

    Great advice Sarah!! I used to work out early on an empty stomach for fear for stomach cramps -- but since switching to eating half a banana smeared with almond butter (and saving the rest for my brekky!) I have found I have more energy and can push through a better workout without feeling dizzy! Thank you Sarah! Your blog is wonderful! I’m just starting mine — hopefully it will be as renowned as yours one day! 🙂 Love, Lauren xxx

  • Victoria Oliver

    I cut up half an apple into chunks, a dallop of Greek yogurt, a sprinkle of walnuts, and drizzle of flaxseed oil and honey. It gets me through an hour circuit, at 4 am. You can eat the rest as a snack at work.

  • kelsey

    Thank you for your preworkout suggestions!
    I have been going to the gym on an empty stomach for so long now, but lately have found my workouts coming to a dizzy halt! I have been trying to have a quick cup of coffee and a low fat cheese string (50 cal, 7 grams of protein), before my workouts and this has helped give me both enough energy to complete my workouts, but also has helped me push myself more when it comes to using weights.
    I am a huge fan of yours, you are so genuine and such a strong female role model! Keep up the amazing work! Tons of love!

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