A big fitness myth that has been floating around forever is that working out on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat. It seems like everyone is spouting this myth, but the truth relies on science. Find out the facts!
The rationale behind this widely accepted myth is that forgoing food before exercise will force your body to burn more fat during your workout. This is a big, fat lie: Starving yourself before exercising can actually be detrimental to your body. Let’s get to the bottom of this fitness myth once and for all.
You need sugar to exert energy. Your body needs a certain amount of sugar for fuel when training. When that blood sugar is not there, your body will convert your own muscle tissue into energy. A study published in the Strength and Conditioning Journallooked at cyclists who ate before they trained versus those who fasted before they trained. The amount of fat burn was the same for both groups, but those who had trained without eating first had 10 percent of their calorie burn come from protein — including their own muscle mass. You’re trying to build muscle, not eat away at it!
You don’t need to gorge yourself; a healthy snack will do the trick. I suggest you eat something 45 minutes to an hour before training — you’ll have more energy and endurance to work harder, burn more calories, and improve your muscle tone. Aim for something with carbohydrates and protein. Here are a few quick, healthy snack ideas: a whey shake, low-fat yogurt with berries, or a banana or apple slices with natural almond butter.
The Bottom Line: You should always eat something before a workout. I’m not suggesting you pig out. A small, healthy snack consisting of carbohydrates and protein will properly fuel your body for a killer workout.
Have a fab week!