This Is Why You Shouldn't Workout On An Empty Stomach

April 18, 20172410

The conventional approach followed by fitness enthusiasts has been working out on an empty stomach. Well, whether the methodology really pays off is still a debatable question. A partial percentage follows starved workout technique while the rest relies on fueled-up exercise based on their beliefs regarding the two. Different fitness experts, researchers and nutritionists have diverse opinions. So we throw some light on the effects of working out on an empty stomach.

What happens when we work out on empty stomach?

While exercising your body uses energy. This energy, in case of fasted state, comes from fat stores as it is unable to find any carbs or glycogen in the bloodstream. So with each exercise, energy expenditure accounts on fat deposits. Consequently the fat loss rate is found to hike using the starving mode of workout. But in the long run it can have counterproductive effects on your body.

Response of brain to fasted workout in due course

Since the body uses up energy from fat stores, over due course of time, our brain starts to treat it as a survival mode. This means it starts exhausting fat deposits more judiciously. This reaction is the brain’s way of keeping body fed during starvation. Also it tries to replenish the fat deposits as soon as you eat.

Related: The Best Workout Routine to Lose Fat Fast


Why you should not work out on empty stomach?

Considering the adverse effects fasted work out has over the benefits offered, it is suggested not to work out on empty stomach.

  1. Since glycogen levels are low in fasted state, body may use energy from muscles along with fat deposits. Although such situation pops up in case of intense workouts, but losing muscle mass is completely undesirable.
  2. Lower energy saps your stamina and intensity of workout. You might not be able to cope up with the regime and feel fatigued.
  3. The growth in fat burning rate tends to slow down your body’s metabolism.
  4. According to a survey, people who workout on empty stomach eat more post workout than people who workout in a fed state.
  5. Hunger and tiredness might turn off your mood and make you feel irritated.
  6. After a fasted workout, body starts using energy from food to restock fat deposits as a preventive measure.
  7. Your muscles are more prone to injuries during fasted state as they are deprived of energy.

So considering the above facts, it is suggested to fuel up your body before workout.

Benefits of eating before work out

Food is like fuel for the body. For an intense workout, you should provide energy to your body in the form of healthy carbs and proteins. Remember you should feed your body 40-60 minutes prior to workout.

  1. Working out in a fed state makes your workout sessions more intense and longer.
  2. It does not uses energy from muscles as it can rely on glycogen. Also it accelerates the muscle repair and recovery process.
  3. Protein builds muscles, muscles use energy. So fueling up with a pre workout protein snack burns calories even 24 hours after workout.
  4. As carbs and proteins are satiating in nature, you do not feel the urge of useless snacking throughout the day.
  5. You feel less fatigued even after an intense workout after a fed state workout.

Also Read: 9 Foods To Eat For Gaining Muscle Mass

Pre work out snacking options

  • Whole wheat toast with eggs
  • Banana or apple
  • Fruit smoothie
  • Greek yogurt
  • Oatmeal
  • Protein granola bar

So it largely depends on the intensity of workout that fed or fasted state comes into action. But to build and maintain muscle mass as well as achieve consistent weight loss, a small snack prior to workout is recommended.

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The Fitness Cafe started out when a couple of guys set out on a fitness goal that many believed to be impossible. One of the founders lost 48lbs in one year and is on his way to completing his first half marathon!