The Million Dollar Question - When’s the best time to work out? Many people prefer working out in the morning for so many reasons: you get something accomplished right away, you energize your body, and you’ll feel the benefits throughout the day, even when you go to sleep. But if you work out in the morning, should you do so on an empty stomach?
Some people get lightheaded when they exercise without breakfast, while others believe it gives them an added boost of energy and leaves them feeling light during their workout. Fasted exercise, or exercising on an empty stomach, has gained traction in the fitness world as the most effective way to burn fat. Other fitness experts believe that not fueling your body before a workout can lead to muscle loss.
So, should you work out before or after breakfast?
The truth is, research findings are mixed. Studies have been done in many different environments and age groups and they all supply different results. Depending on your individual health status and health goals, your morning plan might look totally different than your partner’s or your work out mates’.
While every person’s body is different and there is no universal answer, it is generally better to work out after you have breakfast.
Your body’s metabolism is at its lowest first thing in the morning because you haven’t eaten in at least eight hours or so. Starting the day off with a glass of water will ensure that you’re hydrating your body and waking up on the inside, too. To get your body’s metabolism fired up in the morning, you need to eat a well-balanced breakfast. Even a protein shake can suffice for some if they prefer to feel lighter on their feet but still need that nourishment before they do any strenuous activities. This will help you work out longer and harder, therefore burning more calories.
On the other hand, many people partake in intermittent fasting and swear by eating in an 8-hour window, which typically means you don’t eat breakfast for a few hours after you wake up. This can be so beneficial to boost your metabolism and to balance your diet and exercise routine. This works great for people who don’t mind working out on an empty stomach. Caffeine and water are both acceptable in the mornings if you choose intermittent fasting, so talk with a professional before you start that journey to ensure it’s right for you and you’re doing it safely and in a way that will benefit your body!
What Happens When You Work Out on an Empty Stomach
Exercising on an empty stomach indeed burns fat quicker, but that is not always a good thing. When you exercise, your body uses free sugars from your cells as its primary source of energy. If your stomach is empty, the free sugars are diminished super quickly.
While more fat may be burned on an empty stomach, many people find that they can’t exercise as long or as hard as when they have food in their stomach. Because of this, it could mean that you don’t burn as many calories.
Pre-Workout Breakfast Tips
Eating breakfast before your workout is important, but whatyou eat is just as crucial. Stay away from sugary foods and stick with foods that are high in nutritional value. Quality foods will help you build muscle and help you last longer in your workout.
An easy way to ensure you have a quality breakfast in the morning is to plan the night before. By preparing a healthy breakfast at night, you won’t have to rush in the morning and you will be less tempted to grab something unhealthy.
Even if your breakfast is nutritious, don’t eat too much before your workout. Keeping it light will boost your workout and metabolism without weighing you down. Try a handful of almonds, a small piece of fruit, or even a yogurt or probiotic smoothie. If you want to increase your protein intake for muscle building in your workouts, try making oatmeal with peanut butter and protein powder mixed in. You can even add some fruit on top!
No matter what you eat before your workout, you should always keep a snack or two on hand for after your workout. Your energy may be depleted after your workout and you may feel lightheaded. Having a sports drink or handful of almonds will help satiate you until you can eat something more substantial.
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