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The 7 Products I Credit to *Finally* Making Me a Morning Workout Person

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If your goal is to get an exercise sesh in before 11 a.m., these items can seriously help.

I didn’t just magically become a morning person one day. It took coming back home from a trip overseas and the aftermath we call jet lag for me to finally start waking up earlier. Once I realized that I’m exponentially more productive and energized before the rest of the world wakes up, I knew that rising with the sun was a habit I wanted to hold onto.

Let me preface this by saying I was always a 3 p.m.-workout kinda gal. So when I finally discovered my inner morning person, it became my goal to take better advantage of daylight hours and fit in earlier workouts.

But it’s one thing to just wake up early—getting to the gym before 11 a.m. still seemed like an impossible feat for me. I knew I had to do some planning ahead in order to make this work. That meant guaranteeing a good night’s sleep, placing the workout set I plan to wear by my bed the night before, and investing in some products that would get me excited about hitting the gym before breakfast.

If one of your resolutions is to be initiated into the morning workout club, read on for the products that helped me become one of those people.

Shop these products for morning workout motivation


apple watch

1. Apple Watch — $389

Not to exaggerate, but I don’t know how I got through workouts before getting my Apple Watch. For starters, it helps track my sleep (as long as I wear it in bed—which is surprisingly comfortable to do, FYI) so I have a better idea of the energy levels I’m working with the next day. 

During my workouts, I love that it seamlessly connects with my AirPods and Spotify, so I don’t have to check my phone to put on a playlist and I can just tell Siri to skip a song, hands-free, if I’m not feeling it. 

The watch comes with plenty of watch faces to choose from, and I picked one with a timer function on the home screen, which makes it easy to hit the timer and limit my rests so that I’m not staring into space for too long in between sets. 

When I decide to finish off my workout with an incline walk on the treadmill or when I jog back home from the gym, my watch shows me which heart rate zone I’m in. That’s super helpful because one of my goals for this year is getting more zone 2 cardio in to improve my endurance and aerobic fitness.

Having all these metrics at my fingertips (literally) gets me motivated to log a strength session and close my rings earlier, day after day. 


gymshark elevate sports bra

2. Gymshark Elevate Longline Bra — $30

Knowing I have something cute to look forward to wearing makes penciling in a morning workout that much less of a chore. So the night before, I plan my gym fit and lay it out by my bed so I can just slip it on so that I don’t waste 10 to 15 minutes of precious daylight hours thinking about what I’m going to wear.

As a weight-lifting girlie, I’m currently obsessed with Gymshark’s Elevate Longline bra (and the matching Elevate leggings) in the color willow green. I love a good matching set, and this outfit strikes the perfect balance of being supportive and flattering. 


YSL Libre Perfume

3. YSL Libre Perfume — $82

For me, a good scent is essential, whether I’m going out for a nice dinner or hitting the weight room. I’ve always admired when someone walks by and leaves a delicious trail of perfume wafting.

It took me a while to find my signature scent, and YSL Libre, with its hints of orange blossom and musk, is officially my go-to. 

It’s floral, warm, and feminine—and most importantly, stays on throughout even the most grueling two-hour gym session. Its superb sillage and staying power make it my favorite for day-to-night activities. Plus, you only need one or two sprays to get the job done.

Smelling extra good always instantly boosts my mood and confidence, helping me crush a PR….or just make it out of bed and get moving (which, on some days, is good enough).

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SkinMedica AHA/BHA Cleanser

4. SkinMedica AHA/BHA Cleanser — $48

While we all know how important it is to wash our face after a sweaty workout, it’s equally as important—if not more—to give it a scrub before hitting the gym to help keep your skin clear. And an acid cleanser is the creme-de-la-creme of cleansers.

SkinMedica’s AHA/BHA cleanser combines different hydroxy acids to help wake up my skin, leaving it feeling refreshed and looking bright and exfoliated. 

“Hydroxy acids, particularly salicylic acid, help remove excess oil and dead cells from the surface of the skin to keep the pores clear,” says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, associate professor and director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Using a hydroxy acid cleanser before working out can help prevent breakouts because, as you work out, sweat, oil, and dirt build up on your skin and block the pores, Dr. Zeichner says. “Proper cleansing can keep the complexion clear, and reduce the likelihood of breakouts.”


Juara Invigorating Coffee Exfoliating Scrub

5. Juara Invigorating Coffee Exfoliating Scrub — $35

On those extra-groggy mornings, I make a beeline to the shower to help wake me up. While coffee is non-negotiable, I follow the sound advice from Andrew Huberman, PhD, to delay caffeine until 90 minutes after waking up. So, the next best thing to sipping a piping hot mug upon waking up is an in-shower spa sesh with Juara’s Invigorating Coffee Scrub

This java-based scrub is made with Sumatra coffee beans and smells like the richest mocha latte you’ll ever have—and the supercharged scent alone is enough to shake you awake. Indeed, a 2018 study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that just smelling coffee (without even drinking it) helped study participants perform better on analytical tasks, suggesting the scent can help perk you up.

So if you’re not drinking coffee right away, you may as well slather your body in it, right? Juara’s scrub’s scent lasts on your skin for hours—plus it’s made with moisturizing ingredients, including coconut and jojoba, that coat your skin, leaving it feeling luscious and mega-hydrated.

(Quick note: On days that I do shower and use Juara before the gym, I skip the perfume spritz so that the scents don’t clash.)


Chike Caramel High-Protein Iced Coffee

6. Chike Caramel High-Protein Iced Coffee — $35

Depending on my appetite that day and what kind of workout I’m doing (usually either heavy lifting or HIIT), I’ll need a small snack before hitting the gym. When I’m lifting heavy, I need some caffeine to fuel me, and that’s when I turn to Chike’s Caramel High-Protein Iced Coffee.

Each scoop has 10 grams of protein, 55 calories, and 75 milligrams of caffeine, which is about the amount that’s in one shot of espresso.

“Having a shake with coffee-infused protein before a morning workout is a great idea because the caffeine not only makes you feel alert but can also improve performance during exercise, while the protein assists with muscle growth and prevents muscle breakdown,” says Alyssa Simpson, RDN, owner of Nutrition Resolution. And that’s especially important if you are not eating breakfast until after the workout, Simpson says.

I add one to two scoops of this coffee protein powder along with 3/4 cup of milk and half a banana for carbs, plus a handful of ice. The result: A super-frothy coffee smoothie that’s free of added sugar and tastes better than a Starbucks frappe. 

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nodpod sleep mask

7. Nodpod Sleep Mask — $34

The better sleep I get, the more energy I have to crush an a.m. workout. But even the slightest bit of light jolts me out of bed, so in addition to investing in blackout shades, I also sleep with an eye mask on.

In fact, sleeping with an eye mask on was shown to improve time spent sleeping as well as increased alertness the following day, per a March 2023 study in the journal Sleep.

I’m personally partial to the Nodpod mask because it’s lightly weighted and contours my face to completely block out light.

While it doesn’t have a strap like most sleep masks do, it boasts a slit on one end which you can pull the other end through to secure the mask on your head—perfect if you’re a side sleeper or switch positions throughout the night (guilty). The brand now makes a silk version that I’ll have to get my hands on.