Is It Bad to Workout on An Empty Stomach
Can I workout on an empty stomach? Or to say, should I run before breakfast or after?
Conflicting opinions from the fitness and medical communities concerning eating before exercise can make working out confusing. While one expert advises you to eat a healthy snack before exercising, another may note that you’ll burn more fat on an empty stomach, since your body burns fat storage for energy rather than using food energy to sustain your exercise. By understanding the potential problems of exercising on a empty stomach, you may better understand whether it is bad to work out on a empty stomach or not.
Let’s take a look at the debate on “does training on an empty stomach burn more fat?”. Some people think that jumping out of bed in the morning should immediately be followed by a cardio session before you even think about breakfast. The idea stems from the fact that glycogen, a stored carbohydrate, is often depleted in the morning. So after a night without eating, your body could potentially burn a greater percentage of fat as your store of carbohydrates, its preferred energy source, is not easily available. While reduced glycogen stores may help your body to prioritize or burn much fat, if they are completely depleted, this can potentially be bad for your body and may even use muscle for energy. So, going without food for too long before a workout could leave you feeling malnourished and susceptible to dizziness, and even fainting. Without sufficient energy to sustain exercise, you might be forced to cut your workout short.
As most of us have a meal a few hours before getting to sleep and with the busy lives we lead, we may not always get the recommended 8 hours of shut eye, the likelihood of completely depleting your glycogen stores while sleeping is pretty slim. This means if we were to do cardio first thing in the morning, glycogen would still be in our bodies, allowing us to burn fat safely and maybe even more of it.
The appropriate medium between exercising on a full stomach and fasting before a workout is having a small but nutritious pre-workout snack that contains both protein and carbohydrates. For instance, cheese and whole wheat crackers, vegetables and hummus, or a protein smoothie can help give you the energy to sustain a healthy workout without making you feel sick. If you suffer from exercise-induced anaphylaxis, focus on foods that won’t cause a reaction and talk to your doctor about treatment and prevention methods.
As usual, there are pros and cons to both of these approaches, and ultimately, I feel like you need to do what feels right for your body. Some of us can eat right before a workout and feel amazing, whereas others can’t even stand eating food before a workout. Your own physique and health may dictate it’s bad to workout on an empty stomach or not .
Related: Should You Take a Cold or Hot Shower after Workout