October 19, 2019
Did you know?
When you eat and when you exercise can make a difference.
Like to get in your workout during the morning? Make sure you do it before you scarf down your daily bowl of cereal or plate of eggs. A new study finds that people who exercise prior to breakfast burn twice as much fat as those who hit the gym after eating.
Researchers from the universities of Bath and Birmingham in England report that because we’ve fasted while sleeping, our bodies have lower insulin levels during exercise should we begin working out right after waking up. That means our bodies are forced to turn to fat for fuel.
The remarkable response to insulin suggests that exercising before breakfast lowers one’s risk for developing type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
“This work suggests that performing exercise in the overnight-fasted state can increase the health benefits of exercise for individuals, without changing the intensity, duration or perception of their effort,” comments study co-author Dr. Gareth Wallis of the University of Birmingham in a release.
The scientists say that the muscles of men who exercised before their morning meal were more responsive to insulin and showed greater increases in key proteins needed to help transport glucose from the bloodstream to the muscles. They also note that the insulin response for participants in the after-breakfast group was, surprisingly, no better than men in the control group.
“Our results suggest that changing the timing of when you eat in relation to when you exercise can bring about profound and positive changes to your overall health,” concludes Gonzalez.
In simple terms, what the above means is that exercising before having breakfast after a night of sleep burns twice as much fat as exercising after eating something, and that it also improves muscle recovery.
It makes sense.
When you eat something, your body prefers to use that for energy. When you don’t eat something for a while, your energy still has to come from somewhere.
Some sources will tell you that if you work out before breakfast you’ll burn muscle for fuel and that you’ll lose all your gains while offering to sell you a fat-burning supplement. It’s a lie. You don’t need fat-burning supplements and you won’t lose your muscle mass if you exercise before breakfast. Your body will use the glycogen in your muscles and your fat as fuel. After you have breakfast, it will replenish the glycogen.
Now, obviously, don’t go running a marathon on an empty stomach or doing any kind of similar strenuous and sustained effort. Marathon runners don’t run on an empty stomach and they lose muscle mass anyways.
Actually, don’t ever run a marathon at all. It’s insane and it is a form of self-harm.
Long-distance running promotes masochism and passivity.
An hour in the gym, going for a walk, cycling, calisthenics, and even sprinting while fasted are a good idea.
If you’d like to get a little fat-burning boost, remember that plain coffee can help you burn fat. There’s no need for any fancy pill or powder.
Do keep in mind that your body is very fuel-efficient. It doesn’t burn as many calories as people may think, even when doing hours of exercise, so you’re always better off focusing on your diet if you want to burn fat.