The first-meal camp states that pre-workout food raises blood sugars, giving the body fuel to increase the intensity and duration of exercise. It also protects you from fatigue or dizziness.
The eating camp says that you burn more fat if you fast before exercise.
A small study in the UK, published on Friday, supports the latter view: In 30 overweight or overweight men, those who exercised before breakfast burned twice as much fat as men who ate breakfast before to train.
This is because the exercise without fuel forces the body to focus on stored carbohydrates, and when these disappear quickly, on fat cells.
Unfortunately, the eating group does not lose weight anymore of the group before eating during the six weeks of the study, but it had "profound and positive" effects on the health of the fasting group, the researchers said. Skipping a pre-workout diet makes men's muscles more responsive to insulin, which controls high blood sugars, thus reducing the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
"The exercise group before breakfast increases their ability to respond to insulin, which is even more remarkable, given that both exercise groups lost similar weight and both gained a similar amount of fitness," said the physiologist on Exercises Javier Gonzalez, Assistant Professor in the Department of Health at the University of Bath, in a speech.
"The only difference was the timing of the meal," Gonzalez added.
However, this time men burn more calories if they eat breakfast first.
It is probably no surprise that the non-sporting group gained weight. But contrary to the 2017 survey, the group that eats breakfast before a workout also gains weight. The group exercised water and an empty stomach that maintained their weight, lost fat and kept their blood sugars in good shape.
What is a take-off? Obviously, science has to look at this a lot harder, with much larger research groups. But based on the science in these studies, it seems that exercise before eating can be beneficial to your overall health, even if it does not always reduce your waistline.
- Use the four R's to recover: rehydrate, replenish, repair and strengthen.
- Do this by drinking water or sports drinks.
- Eat a 4: 1 carbohydrate meal for 15 to 30 minutes to a high quality protein ratio.
- Some good choices are fruit and low fat Greek yoghurts, trail mix or peanut butter banana.