In case you work out on an empty stomach? This depends.
It is often recommended that you workout first thing in the morning before eating breakfast, in what is called a fasted state. This is thought to assist with weight loss. However, exercising after eating may give you more energy and enhance your performance.
Keep reading to learn the advantages and risks of exercising on an empty stomach, and suggestions for what to eat before and after exercising.
Can working out on an empty belly help you lose more weight?
Exercising on an empty belly is what’s known as fasted cardio. The theory is that your system feeds stored fat and carbs for energy rather than food you’ve recently eaten, leading to high levels of fat loss.
Research from 2016 factors to the benefits of exercising at a fasted state concerning weight control. The study among 12 men found that those who didn’t eat breakfast before exercising burned more fat and reduced their caloric intake for more than 24 hours.
Some research dispels this concept. A 2014 study on 20 girls found no significant differences in body composition changes between groups that ate or fasted before working out. Included in this study, researchers measured body weight, percent body fat, and waist circumference over four months. At the end of the study, the two groups were demonstrated to have lost body fat and fat mass.
More comprehensive research over a longer period of time is needed to expand upon those findings.
Exercising on an empty stomach could also cause your system to use protein as fuel. This leaves your entire body with less nourishment, which will be necessary to build and repair muscles following exercise. Plus, using fat as energy doesn’t necessarily indicate that you are likely to decrease your total body fat percent or burn off more calories.
Can it be safe to operate out on an empty stomach?
While there is some research to support working out on an empty stomach, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that it is ideal. When you exercise on an empty stomach, you might burn valuable energy resources and have less endurance. Low blood sugar levels may also leave you feeling lightheaded, nauseous, or shaky.
The other possibility is that your body will adjust to constantly using fat reserves for energy and start to save more fat than usual.
Foods to improve performance
Follow a balanced diet to boost your athletic performance.
- Eat complete, healthy, natural foods.
- Include healthy carbs like fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and beans.
- Choose healthful fats, such as olive and coconut oil, ghee, and avocados.
- Get protein from lean meats, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.
- Nuts, seeds, and sprouts are healthy additions to your diet because are foods rich in iron such as fish, cooked beans, and green vegetables.
In case you choose to eat before exercising, select a readily digestible meal containing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Eat about 2-3 hours before your workout. If you are pressed for time, then snack in a power bar, peanut butter sandwich, or dried or fresh fruit.
Stay hydrated before, during, and after exercise by drinking water, sports beverages, or juice. Smoothies and meal replacement beverages can allow you to increase your liquid intake, also.
Certain foods may improve and speed up your recovery after training. Eat foods containing carbs, protein, and fiber over 30 minutes to two hours of finishing your workout. Healthy proteins can boost your immune system and speed up wound healing. Foods that contain vitamins C and D, magnesium, and calcium are also beneficial.
Here are a couple of healthy post-workout options:
- Low-fat chocolate milk
- Berry smoothie
- energy pub
- whole-wheat bread
- soy milk
- seeds and nuts
- prunes or prune juice
- yogurt with berries
When should you consume?
The kind of activity you are doing can help determine whether you should eat before your workout. For mild or low-impact exercises, like walking, golf, or yoga, you may not have to fuel up beforehand.
But, you must always eat before exercise that demands a whole lot of energy, strength, and endurance. This includes tennis, jogging, and swimming. It is especially important if you plan to exercise for more than one hour.
There are certain instances you might want to eat during strenuous exercise lasting over one hour, such as during a marathon. This is necessary to maintain blood glucose levels needed to continue moving. Additionally, it can help you avoid consuming stored energy in your muscles, which may help you build muscle mass.
Check-in with your doctor if you have any health condition that’s affected by what you eat and how you exercise.
In case you have diabetes, closely monitor your glucose levels before, during, and after exercising. In case you’ve got a thyroid condition, very low blood pressure, or hypertension, be sure you’re eating about your exercise program whenever it’s appropriate for managing your problem.
The Most Important Thing
If you do work out on an empty stomach at times, do not sweat it, but it may not be best for strenuous or long-term activities. You are your best guide, so pay attention to your own body and do what feels best for you. Stay properly hydrated, keep a balanced diet, and live a lifestyle in accordance with your own best health interests. And remember to speak to your health care provider before beginning any new exercise regime.