What to eat/drink BEFORE breakfast?


Aug 16, 2019
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Binghamton, NY
  1. Vegan newbie
With my schedule, I get up 60-90 minutes before having breakfast. So I decided that is when I take a number of my food-based supplements to get a good start on the day.

In the past I took them with a protein shake. That is because I read in numerous fitness/exercise magazines & websites that after the "fast" that comes with sleep, your muscles are starving for protein and amino acids to rebuild. What I used to take was Mt. Capra's goat milk-based product, which had 20 grams of protein per serving.

Now with the plant-based diet, I know that that is not a good product to consume. So I started looking at powders that contain multiple plants (pea, rice, hemp, etc) to make sure I get all the right balance of the essential amino acids.

Then I read on doctor-run LFPBWF blog sites and heard on their podcasts that a big problem is people consuming TOO MUCH protein. And that if you follow the proper LFPBWF diet, you'll get all of the protein you need. I'm a 64-year old 6-ft male that weighs around 180, which means that based on the "average" charts I need around 65 grams of protein. But I'm going to be starting some weight training to recover some muscle loss, so I'll need more than that.

Since there is such a large time gap before eating my breakfast, what is the best thing I should eat/drink upon awaking?

And if anyone still thinks that protein powders are OK, what time of day? I know that many of the "traditional" exercise experts recommend taking a protein shake before bed so that your muscles have food during sleep. Is this a good idea?

BTW, the protein I initially settled on was Vega's Clean, because it didn't have any of the "extras" that too many other companies and products have. But I haven't taken any of it yet. A "normal" serving is 25 grams. I figured I should only use half a scoop to cut the protein value in half. But now not sure if I need or should even use it at all.
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Nice going!
Your description sounds a lot like the stuff I went thru when first going vegan.

I hate to be nosy but why is there such a big gap between getting up and breakfast. Is that when you workout?

I'm not totally against protein powders. I have a cannister in my cupboard right now. I just can't stand the way they taste and only take half of the scoop on days when I skip meals. I use Cronometer to keep track of protein and most days I meet my minimum.

The "timing" of nutrients is not something I know a lot about. But I am interested so I'm hoping you and some others can provide some good stuff there.

I'm not sure it really is necessary to fill in your "gap" with anything. If you are comfortable not going with food for that long - maybe that is a good thing. Intermittent fasting seems to be a good strategy for weight loss.

And I do think it's true about too much protein. One thing I just read about is that there are also issues with the "timing" of protein. If you eat too much protein at one meal, your body can't absorb and utilize it all. The suggestion from the author was 20 - 30 grams per meal.

I have heard a lot of different theories about stuff you should eat or drink before bed. I have a lot of trouble sleeping and I have found that going to bed with an empty stomach helps me a lot. So I have not paid much attention to those discussions. but it makes sense to have some protein in your system at night. I also remember reading something that it's important to have some fat - that is what your brain will burn while you sleep.

And it also makes sense to me to have some protein first thing in the morning.

BTW, I exercise first thing in the morning before breakfast. So I guess I also have a big gap in the morning between waking up and breakfast. My protein goal is just 50g. and I can meet it by eating 10 - 20-gram meals. But not when I skip a meal. Hence, the protein powder in the cupboard.
Often I have coffee with a sweetener of some kind (raw sugar, malt extract, jaggery etc). This morning I had coffee as usual but because I had a fair bit of alcohol last night I downed 2 large glasses of tomato juice + turmeric as well to quicken the sober up time.