My Breakfast Routine Before Workouts


I’ve been experimenting with different breakfast options for decades.

In 1998-1999, it was at least 80% fat while on a Cyclic Ketogenic Diet (CKD). For the last 12 years, I’ve mostly consumed Slow-Carb Diet options shared in The 4-Hour Body (e.g. like this low-carb, high-protein, breakfast you can make in under 3 minutes, though I now use whole eggs).

I occasionally experiment with intermittent fasting, and the video below shares my current super-light breakfast that I use before most training and early morning travel. If hypertrophy (adding muscle) is my main objective, I still default to Slow-Carb and 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking.


Here are some of the products I mention in this video:

Posted on: October 27, 2016.

Please check out Tools of Titans, my new book, which shares the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world-class performers. It was distilled from more than 10,000 pages of notes, and everything has been vetted and tested in my own life in some fashion. The tips and tricks in Tools of Titans changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for sample chapters, full details, and a Foreword from Arnold Schwarzenegger!

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39 comments on “My Breakfast Routine Before Workouts

  1. Tim,

    Huge fan, thank you for all of your efforts, I have listened and read 90% of your work, the info has been life changing in many ways. Cannot wait for your new book to come out, I am equally as intrigued by the routines of ultra successful as you are and have found many to be very helpful in my own life.

    Random question here, completely off topic. Your long sleeve shirts are phenomenal and I cannot seem to find that perfect fit. May I ask where you get them?

    Thanks my friend,



  2. Tim are you still having the PAGG protocol? I’ve been on it since the release of the 4HB, but curious if you’re still a believer? Thanks as always. Jamie


  3. Hey Tim, thank you for another great post. Do you take the C8 and Ketoforce everyday? I’m currently using MCT oil powder in my tea and don’t want to go overkill. Can you suggest a protocol (for example, 6 days a week on and 1 day off)?

    Side note: small typo in the first sentence of the post “while on a while on a”


    • Thanks for the comment. I’m still figuring out the best dosing protocol for exogenous ketones, MCT, etc. I’ll keep you posted. And thanks for the heads up on the typo! Will fix now.


  4. You forgot to mention the four sigmatic superfood blend. I put it in my morning smoothie on a daily basis. Is it a product you use daily or just for specific circumstances?


  5. Great work again Tim! I know I am and many others are definitely interested in your current meal and supplement plans.

    Are you currently in a consistent state of ketosis? How long do you stay in ketosis for and do you cycle in and out? The reason I ask is because I know you enjoy your wine, do you stop drinking wine to stay in ketosis? Are there any tricks to get back into ketosis as soon as you come out for some carbs or wine? Do you stay out for a few days or go directly back in?

    Also, I’m extremely interested in your daily supplement plan. I think others are also interested in what your current supplement plan is as well. Could you please share this?


  6. hey Tim talk to me about beets, and their healing power , and boner power? I heard that beets lower blood pressure and increase energy , is that true? boner power, well thats just an added bonus


  7. Hi Tim, huge fan of your work and greatly enjoy the ‘shortcuts’ for lack of a better word, you’ve provided over the years. How would you adapt this breakfast for early morning bjj? Would you simply go with 30 within 30 (whey) before and the rest of the breakfast after? Something about whole foods before a good dose of knee on belly doesn’t sit right. As always, keep up the great work! Thanks, Anne


  8. Tim,
    I still remember the story in one of your books (podcasts?) of your dad, who was overweight at the time, and started eating 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up — and did nothing else — and lost a ton of weight. Sounded easy enough and I’m here to tell you that three months after adopting your advice for your dad I’ve lost ten pounds, without doing anything else. And feeling great.
    Carl Kruse


  9. Hi Tim,
    It’s 9:06 PST so I figure it’s a good time to catch you. In my mind’s eye you are entombed for the night, ready to crack open one of a number of fine wines gifted to you by your legions of fans (or that dick, Chris Saca. Okay, I’m bitter). But I thought I would help you by simplifying your morning routine. In my way of thinking – and others, like a guy named Steven Jobs – breakfast is meant to be utilitarian and frictionless. I get that you have an alchemical mix to start your day, but let me save you time, hassle, and money. Wake up, but don’t eat for at least 2hrs. Your body doesn’t even want to eat during that time as it is still trying to shake off the embryonic memories of it’s perfect, Morpheus-like past. Once 2hrs have passed, eat a cup of frozen blueberries (huge anti-oxident) and some hot tea. I like Tevanna’s English Breakfast. That should hold you til lunch when you’ll have some delicious and hip avocado toast. That sets you up to go crazy and eat whatever the fuck you want for dinner. Nutrition, I have found is simple…’s a math problem. No need to over complicate it.


    • Brian,
      While I get your point, bringing up Steve Jobs was probably not the best person you could have chosen 😉 I have experimented myself with a vegan diet, and much like Tim (I suppose, not speaking for him here), I don’t think the benefits (which are still debated) outweigh the negatives — which are the sacrifice of many dating, social, and business opportunities while vegan.
      Listen to the last podcast, which featured some very smart and accomplished physicians/scientists, they explain that “eating a whole bunch of antioxidants”, have not lived up to scrutiny and research as having any real benefit.


  10. Tim: Thanks so much for your work and letting others know about what has worked for you.
    I’m just reading 4HB now and hoped you had the answer to a huge problem, or know of some research. I was good until into my 50s, lifting, walking, dancing etc, then I got sick and went from size 10 to size 18 in about 6 months. While I managed to lose most of the weight fairly quickly, significant chronic pain and fatigue has lasted almost 2 decades now.
    But the worst problem is skin. Skin doesn’t shrink back when the rest of you does when you’re older and it’s so ugly that I keep being tempted to gain the weight back just to get rid of the loose skin.
    Have you any ideas about that? Have you had older people with that problem who couldn’t afford cosmetic surgery and found some other solution?
    Any ideas or hints certainly appreciated,
    Thanks again.


  11. Hi Tim, great read, I’ve been listening non stop with your podcast! As a avid fitness addict myself nutrition is always the key.

    Not your typical breakfast but thanks for sharing.


  12. Hi Tim,

    I am simply interested in a healthy diet (not the ketogenic diet, etc.). Is this all good stuff to take in the mornings only if you are following the ketogenic diet, or it is good to take regardless? My diet more closely resembles the low-carb diet more than anything. Should I look into KetoForce, Brain Octane, etc?




  13. Tim,

    What would you say to the people who don’t like reading or writing? Although I have tried to help, I’ve seen through my experience, motivation and passion are difficult to sustain in diverse audiences. How can they follow in your footsteps?

    Love everything you do, thanks for being who you are.

    Kind regards,
    Christian D. Pareja


  14. So these are a few different options? Either the tea, or the protein shake or the lemon water with ketones? Or you’re doing all 3? I was doing a Whole 30 and drinking bullet proof coffee every morning, with ghee, coconut oil and an egg yolk blended. I was also eating a fair amount of hard boiled eggs as snacks throughout the day. I had some labs drawn at day 25 or so for an insurance thing and my cholesterol was high! Never had that in my life. The ratio was good but a tad high LDL and a tad high total. HDL was on the upper end of normal. I was also at 9.6% body fat.. (rough measurement on a scale). So I quit the bullet proof coffee. But i liked the routine and felt great on long runs or doing crossfit workouts. So looking at this for a similar replacement. Thoughts?


  15. Hi Tim!

    Thank you so much for doing this great work and for being such an inspiration. (expertise- AND personality-wise)

    I got a really important question with regards to WHEY-Protein – which I alreaday tried to get answered by Charles and other nutrition/training experts – without getting any feedback so far:

    – According to scientific studies is one of the key components of whey – beta lactoglobulin – marked as “highly allergenic”.
    – What seems to happen when we consume whey is that our immune-system is sending all of our little soldiers into the gut to “split” / “fight” this allergene.
    – The result is, that at this point of time – as all “soldiers” are being busy in our guts dealing with the beta-lactoglobulin, they can not do their work elsewhere in our bodies. (e.g. fighting free radicals)

    My question is: Can it really be beneficial to consume whey on a daily basis (when doing workouts approx. 4x per week) given the mentioned complexity I described?

    I would appreciate your advise!

    Thank you and best from Germany hombre!!!!



  16. Hey Tim! I think its time for me to come out of the closet as an avid reader of yours. I’ve been very scam sensitive about it all for a while but tried a lot of techniques anyways. I do appreciate all the research you do. I’ve been on various diet/exercise routines for years and have had my own successes. Favorite workout routines are P90X and Insanity (I especially like the latter). Recently I got very confused about diet after living in Latin America for 15 months. The options were just completely different than I was used to. I had some problems with stomach bacteria, plus my routines got completely thrown off in this new environment. I’m looking forward to trying some of these diet options soon now that I have better access to the products being in the states. Very interesting. I too am a fan of boring but healthy food. But, how do you manage to keep friends with your diet? Seriously, people can get so down and even act offended if you are not “enjoying” the same foods or types of foods that they are. Like how do you navigate the holidays given what you would prefer to eat vs what is actually around?


  17. Hi Tim
    what do you advice below case?
    I am what you’d probably call “skinny-fat”; I have small arms, legs, shoulders, and chest and want to make them bigger, but at the same time I’m carrying a bit of fat around my middle and want a flat stomach. Can I build muscle and lose fat at the same time or should I work on one at a time? If I can only do one at a time which should I do first?


  18. I would be cautious about disconnection in your food. It is a VERY opaque topic. Mitochondria don’t operate well without the necessary co-factors. This breakfast contains quite few co-factors for amount of energy you deliver. Even you could supplement you’d never get the same result as with (just) real food: Millions of years of tested solutions (evolution is not just about developing but keeping key connections which associates with the principle of space of adjacent possibility)

    Therefore, I’d strongly opt for more natural foods because

    1. More non-predictive decision
    2. Respect the opacity of nutrition

    PS: You are too valuable to the world to fuck up your telomeres so early. 🙂

    See Barry Murray, the ultra-runner, for further information, inspiration and a very interesting guest for your podcast. (he runs 100k-runs fasted with next to nothing of food)

    — Sascha


  19. Tim.

    Where does Bulletproof Coffee fit in the 4hour Body? Does it? I’ve gone through some of your blog posts. I’ll keep looking.

    Absolutely loved Titans and love your podcast. Reading/listening while cruising the Caribbean was particularly healing and inspiring. Thanks for your work.


  20. I’ve been following the slow carb diet for four months, among fantastic results, I’m really curious if I should abandon the slow carb breakfast for weight-loss, and adopt this method? I’d really like your opinion Tim thank you!


  21. Tim, you are the man. You’ve definitely opened my eyes beginning from the 4 Hour Workweek. Thanks for the great research and methods. You’re such an amazing influence and I hope we get to meet. I have a feeling we have a lot in common.


  22. I recently received the Four Hour Body as a gift and am loving the book so far. I have two questions with regards to the Slow Carb diet:
    1) I am a triathlete and train in the morning and the evening. Wake up at 445am and train at 5am. Have been having a shake before the workout with 30g of whey. Does this fit? I then eat breakfast, lunch, second lunch, and then workout again, followed by dinner.
    2) What type of protein shake fits within the diet? Just whey protein? A scoop of whey with little to no carbohydrates/sugars? Or, is a shake with some carbohydrates acceptable?
    Todays schedule was basically: 445am whey protein; 5am workout; 630am breakfast, 1030am lunch; 230pm second lunch; 5-6pm 2nd workout; 630pm dinner annndddd repeat for tomorrow.

    Suggestions on how to work the slow carb diet into this schedule and protein shakes to include?

    – Chris O.


  23. Which keto product do you recommend? You are using Ketoforce here but also talk about the pruvit product keto os. Is there one that is more effective than the other?


  24. Hey Tim! Do you take nutritional supplements on top of your diet? If so, any guidance or recommendations on supplementation? I’ve searched through your blogs and haven’t found much talk about nutritional supplementation outside of bodybuilding. Thanks!