I understand it's healthy to exercise in the morning but should it be done after or before having breakfast or a snack? Also, it seems pointless to shower before exercising so I guess that should be postponed until after the work out? And I guess this question doesn't matter but just in case, does it matter when a person uses the toilet the first time in the morning, should it be done right away? Thanks.


3 Answers 3


This depends a bit on the kind of exercises you do.

There is a little debate in the fitness community if exercising in the morning with or without prior breakfast has an effect on fat loss. The theory is that your glycogen levels are low and your body has to burn fat to compensate. However as far as I recall research could not show that this is true.

So back to the exercise, what definitely is true is that your glycogen levels are somewhat lower after sleeping. If your exercise is only a jog around the block for some minutes, this probably does not matter. If it is a full weightlifting routine or a prolonged cardio session (eg running for an hour) you will probably feel exhausted easily without a prior meal.
On the other hand a full stomach might also have negative effects on your workout. Some people (including myself) don't like working out with a full stomach or even get nauseous.
So the decision you have to make here is what you like more; working out with a full or an empty stomach. You could also eat something before and the rest afterwards. Splitting meals has the advantage that you might want to eat less, which can come in handy if you are trying to lose weight.

For the other actions: Go to the toilet when you need to, I would do that as first thing in the morning, as a full bladder doesn't feel good and you gain nothing by holding stuff in. Take the shower after your workouts, unless you want to annoy people.

  • I'm a big fan of the pre-breakfast run, but challenging workouts are best done at least 2 hours after one meal and immediately before the next. For recovery purposes, eating immediately after exercise is a good idea.
    – Evan
    May 22, 2013 at 15:32

I'm not completely certain the goal of this question as the order is largely dependent on the individual. To effectively answer the question, one has to make some assumptions:

  • The person had a light/no dinner which makes the person naturally hungry in the morning. Some have heavy dinners in order to skip breakfast.
  • The person needs to empty their bowel in the mornings; not everyone does that.

So, the proper order (as I see it):

  • Bathroom call; you can't (or shouldn't) really do anything else if you have the urge to do this. No eating, drinking, or exercising if this needs to be done.
  • Unless very hungry (or too hungry to effectively exercise), exercise before breakfast. The Internet is rife with articles on why exercising before breakfast is more effective.
  • Shower (if possible, with warm water to reduce the exercise's fatigue) after your exercise. Yes, it's pointless to shower before exercising; just ensure you shower after.
  • Have a healthy breakfast
  • Repeat the sequence tomorrow morning.

I think most people will agree to this order; however, this largely depends on individuals and their preferences. The main thing is to find whatever works for you and stick with it.


Here's the research - exercising before eating is the best for fat burning: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/15/phys-ed-the-benefits-of-exercising-before-breakfast/

Personally, I've been doing 40 minutes medium intensity workout every day before breakfast for several years. I am very fit, though I consume a lot of sweets, however, if I for some reason don't have time in the morning, I feel very sleepy and need at least ten push-ups to wake up.


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