A loud alarm helps, too

By Rebecca Firkser
Updated May 16, 2018
EC: What's the Difference Between Espresso and Brewed Coffee?
Credit: Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash

Working out always makes me feel better mentally and physically (gotta love those endorphins) but getting to the gym when you have a fulltime job can be tricky. By the time 5 p.m. rolls around, I’m making dinner plans and remembering the massive pile of laundry in my living room. The last thing I want to do when I leave the office is spend one of those precious post-work hours at the gym. So I’ve started going to the gym in the morning, which with my schedule means 6:15 a.m. Before you roll your eyes, let me tell you how I do it, because I don’t roll out of bed at 5:30 with a smile on my face either. The secret is espresso.

The first few times I did a morning workout, I thought the best thing I could do was just get out of my apartment as quickly as possible. Grabbing my gym bag and heading out the door meant I didn’t have a coffee until I got to the office. Even if I had a coffee by 9, I found myself sleepy and cranky for the rest of the day. That clearly wasn’t going to cut it.

I’ve read a lot about how people should start their morning with warm lemon water, regardless of whether they’re planning to work out, because it kickstarts the digestive system. I gave it a try, but every time I sipped that warm, citrusy brew I was so busy feeling self-care vibes I would decide not to leave for the gym. (I don’t know, something about lemon water makes me feel like I should put on calm music, light a candle, and close my eyes.)

Now, I get things going with a shot of espresso before anything else. Stomach lining forgive me, but nothing works quite as well. After my espresso, I eat a half of a granola bar and head out the door.

That first burst of caffeine hits just as I get into the gym, and by the time I’m finished, I’m completely alert. I arrive at work ready to go, and don’t find my eyelids getting heavy by 10 a.m.

Of course, this may not be the key to your morning exercise experience. Perhaps you need a cup of ginger tea, or a 5 Hour Energy shot, or three sips of diet soda. You do you. But if you’re looking for help, see if an espresso will get you where you need to go. Leaving your alarm clock next to the espresso machine also helps.