Preparing for a food challenge that will take place early in the morning is slightly different than preparing how you normally would, simply because you must eat massive amounts of food only a few hours after waking up. It is recommended that you choose times later in the day so that you can allow your body to wake up fully and get hungry, but every now and then you may not have a choice. If you are an experienced eater who is known around your area, you may one day be asked to do a food challenge during a morning news show. I have had this occur before, and I was asked to attempt a 7 lb burger and fries challenge at 8 am in the morning. The other reason you may be attempting a challenge early in the morning is simply because it is a breakfast challenge, and breakfast is usually only served early in the mornings at most restaurants. I will be the first to say that eating a ton of food is not the most fun way to start your morning, but there are certain steps and things that you can do to ensure your body is awake and ready to eat, just like it would be during a normal challenge later in the day.

Before continuing, be sure you have read and understand The 24 Hours Before Your Eating Competition which describes what you should do during the entire 24 hour period before your challenge. We base that article off a challenge scheduled later in the day after noon. You have to understand that article and schedule before you can understand the adjustments we list below. Follow the preparation plan that is described in that article, but please make the following adjustments if you are preparing for a food challenge very early in the morning:

For this example, we will base everything off a food challenge that begins at 8 am in the morning.

The Max Out Meal – You need to keep the max out meal 18 to 22 hours before your challenge, just like you would for any other challenge. You want your stomach to be ready for the challenge, and you also want to make sure that the food is “gone” and out of your body before you start the challenge. To give your body enough time to run its natural processes, you need to have your max out meal for lunch rather than dinner. Take a lunch between 11 am and 1 pm to have your max out meal, and then you will be empty and ready for your 8 am eating feast.

Drink Water!! – You should drink water with your max out meal to finish off the final stomach stretch, but you also need to drink a lot of water for the rest of the day and evening so that you can help your body digest all of the fiber-rich foods that you ate during your max out meal. You don’t really need to drink quarts or liters at a time, but drink a lot of water steadily throughout the rest of the day and night so that all of the food gets digested and at least starts processing through your body before you go to sleep. You will feel better faster too, but know that you may have to wake up once or twice that night to pee because of all that extra water & liquid.

Get to bed early and wake up early – You are going to be waking up around 4:30 am but you still need to get six to eight hours of sleep, so get to bed by 10 pm at the latest. You need a good night of sleep so that you can wake up refreshed and ready to eat. Since you are getting up very early, it would be a terrible decision to go out drinking that night before. Stay in and get some sleep. Make sure to set your alarm for around 4:30 am so that you can wake up and get ready to make your final preparations. If you need more time to wake up, get up at 4 am. Wake up at 5 am if you are a morning person that doesn’t really need much time to get awake and ready.

Take fiber pills before going to bed – Since your challenge is early in the morning, and you will only be awake for a few hours before it is time to eat, it would be beneficial to take some type of fiber pill or stool softener before going to bed so that you need to go to the bathroom soon after waking up. This will then free up room for all of the food you are about to consume during your challenge. For more information about what supplements you can take, please check out some of the articles in our After The Challenge section under this TIPS category.

Jump start your system when you wake up – We covered what time you should wake up in the point above, but make sure to jump start your body right when you get out of bed by drinking a quart or liter of water (at least 16 ounces). You fasted all night and your body was asleep, so the large about of water running through it will help jump start all of your internal organs to help your body wake up faster. You may also choose to have your coffee now or whatever your drink of choice is. There is no need to drink any type of protein shake or consume many calories at this point because you will be eating in just a few hours. After these drinks are finished, you should avoid all liquids and foods at this point until your challenge begins. Since it is so early, you do not have time for one last stomach stretching water chug. You have to rely on your max out meal the previous day and just focus on making sure that your body is awake, completely empty, and ready to eat once that challenge timer starts.

Exercise to get your body hungry – The water and coffee helped begin the waking up process, so now you need to finish the job by doing some form of workout. Lift weights, run, go cycling, do some circuit training, do yoga, or do whatever else you think will really wake your body up the rest of the way and make it hungry. I personally prefer lifting weights or cycling before my events. No exercise is proven to be more beneficial than any other exercises, so really it is up to you and what you are comfortable doing. If you belong to a gym, it should surely be open at this time, so you have no excuse for not doing some form of exercise. This workout will also get you pumped up and excited for your 8 am challenge. A great workout will make you feel hungry and strong which is definitely how you need to feel to perform at your highest physical level possible so you can achieve success.

This schedule has you waking up at 4:30 am because we figure it will take you 30 minutes to get out of bed and ready to go. We are also allowing you from 6:30 to 7:30 to shower after the workout, get dressed, and travel to the restaurant. If you are wanting to start eating at 8 am, you need to get there by 7:30 am for sure so that you can order your meal and get ready. Therefore, we are allowing from 5 am to 6:30 am for you to workout and do whatever else you need to do. Feel free to adjust your schedule accordingly if you feel you don’t need that much time. Even if you don’t spend all that time traveling to and from your gym and working out, it is still good to be up and moving around. You should not expect your body to be able to handle eating seven pounds of food at 8 am if you wake up at 7:15 am. Sadly, the human body just does not work like that, so you shouldn’t expect it to.

Use the above tips and all the information packed into The 24 Hours Before Your Eating Competition to help you prepare for your next early morning challenge. Be sure to make any adjustments that you feel are necessary based on your schedule, eating capabilities, and personal preferences. What works for me and most other people may not work for you, so you need to adjust your training plan accordingly. This article simply establishes a very solid base of information, developed based on experience, that you can begin adjusting to fit your capabilities.

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