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Do not eat before training? This is what happens in your body - Walla! health


From stress to digestive problems, from loss of muscle mass to fat burning - it turns out that the simple decision to exercise in the morning or eat before can have significant, good and bad effects

Do not eat before training?

This is what happens in your body

From stress levels to digestive problems, from muscle mass loss to fat burning - it turns out that the seemingly simple decision to exercise in the morning without eating before - can have significant, good and bad effects




Sunday, 22 May 2022, 07:00 Updated: 07:16

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One of the most tumultuous discussions in the communities of amateur athletes has to do with the question of whether it is right to go to training before or after breakfast.

Whether you have been debating this question for a long time or are jealous of someone who has too few problems in life and can only worry about it - here are the arguments for and against this important decision: This is

how exercising on an empty stomach can benefit you:

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To the full article

1. It can accelerate fat burning

Every aerobic activity leads to the burning of calories at one level or another - and these calories can come from proteins, carbohydrates or fats that are stored in different areas of our body.

In general, it is easier for the body to burn carbohydrates (sugars) that simply come from the food we put into it.

The sugar that is not used for activity, passes to limited glycogen stores that are stored mainly in the liver and skeletal muscles.

Unlike carbohydrates, the body body tends to store more thoroughly, to warm itself up and use it for emergencies of extreme hunger.

There are studies that show that aerobic exercise on an empty stomach can lead to the burning of more fat - at a rate of about 20 percent more on average, compared to post-workout exercise.

However, this benefit also comes with an important asterisk that we will talk about later.

Eat less during the day.

Man eats after training (Photo: ShutterStock)

2. It may make you eat less later in the day

An interesting study conducted on the subject showed that people who fasted before exercise, did not burn more calories in exercise (remember, in the previous section we talked about burning more fat and not more calories in general).

However, the researchers found that running after a fast caused people to consume fewer calories in general during the day of training, in a way that quite goes against intuition and logic.

However, it is important to emphasize that in this area it is very difficult to reach an unequivocal determination - and one can find studies that tend in both directions.

3. Blood sugar may be more balanced

This section, too, admittedly, is a bit illogical.

In general, it is likely that if you exercise without eating before, it may lead to a sudden drop in sugar.

Here, too, there is no one truth that is true for everyone, but there are studies that show that for most people - exercising after fasting can actually improve blood sugar balance - even in people with diabetes.

This study even suggests that exercising on an empty stomach can produce long-term effects in this index - among other things by increasing insulin sensitivity, a condition that greatly affects the chances of developing diabetes.

4. The abdomen may relax a little

Many athletes who suffer from gastrointestinal problems, such as cramps, gas, diarrhea or bloating - report that running on an empty stomach at the beginning of the day helps them reduce the unpleasant effects and improve the general feeling during the day.

For this assumption, we emphasize, we have not found a satisfactory research basis, but if you feel that it works for you - you are definitely not alone.

And if you're dealing with indigestion that goes away - maybe this is something worth trying - at least for a start.

And so this habit can harm you:

1. It probably will not really affect the fat percentage

Yes, we know we've presented a study here that shows that aerobic exercise on an empty stomach burns more fat, but this is the place to present another work that suggests that in the long run, it probably did not produce a significant change in body fat percentage.

This study does not state that exercising on an empty stomach is not effective in reducing fat percentage - but clarifies that according to their data, when looking at a long-term effect (unlike the immediate effect we presented earlier) - there is really no significant difference between running on an empty stomach and running after a good meal.


In the next section we will present a possible reason for this strange effect.

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2. It may intensify the anxiety

Cortisol is a "stress hormone" that is secreted in the body in emergencies and different situations and causes, well, stress.

A study on the subject presented data according to which, strenuous exercise in the morning may significantly increase the rate of this hormone in the bodies of those who give up breakfast.

Experts emphasize that cortisol, in addition to the unpleasant sensations it produces, can also cause the body to store more fat from food, in preparation for an "emergency".

This may explain why the body does burn more fat in such a workout, but does not necessarily enjoy the beneficial effect in the long run.

Another study found that ignoring an empty stomach can also generally throw hormonal activity out of balance - because as all of our mothers have always said, breakfast is an important component in maintaining health in general - and hormonal balance in particular.

Exercising on an empty stomach is not effective in reducing fat percentage.

Flat stomach (Photo: ShutterStock)

3. It may not be wise if you want to develop muscle

When the body needs to burn calories, it will be recalled, it chooses whether to use carbohydrates, proteins from muscle tissue or fat.

For the body, it is important to understand, it is easier to use muscle tissue for this task - so when it works hard and does not get enough sugar from food - it can cause it to burn more of the muscle tissue you are working so hard to develop.

Therefore, running on an empty stomach can (perhaps) be more beneficial for those who want to lose weight, but you may want to eat something before if you want to develop and shape the body.

4. Your performance can be compromised

If it's important for you to break their own record in training, prove yourself in intense play with friends or show everyone around you how good you are at what you do - you may want to consider eating a little before you exercise.

A comprehensive review of post-fast exercise has shown that in most cases, it impairs performance during the workout itself.

And these conclusions can certainly be understood when one thinks about how hunger affects other aspects of our lives - such as functioning at work, mental balance or even the way we communicate with others around us.

Bottom line, when talking about such an individual topic as exercise, the answers are neither black nor white.

The phenomena we have listed here may or may not appear in you - so most of all, it is important that you develop an awareness of how each decision specifically affects you.

And yet we will end with advice for everyone - whether before or after training - to eat, a healthy and nutritious meal that will provide the body with everything it needs and prevent you from suffering from hunger pangs and making less healthy decisions later in the day.

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Source: walla

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