Monday, September 12, 2011

Work out on empty stomach?

My routine right now is to wake up, make and drink a smoothie and then work out. But I have been wondering if maybe I should start working out before I have my smoothie so I can exercise on an empty stomach.

I've heard that when you work out on an empty stomach, you burn stored fat that is already there basically, but if I work out after the smoothie, then I will first be burning off the smoothie.

I Googled it, and there's conflicting reports. This blog from the NY Times says that it makes no difference, but Dr. Oz says it does.

What do you guys think? Have you noticed any differences between doing one or the other?

12 comments:

Christie said...

I've read that you need to eat before any workout because your body needs the nutrition and energy to complete your workout. I always take Zija before I work out in the morning and then eat my breakfast when I get home.

Melisa said...

I think it's important to eat at least something before you work-out, even if it's small. If I don't eat anything I risk feeling light-heady and also not having enough energy to get a great work-out!

Jodie said...

It depends on the intensity and length. I've done my weight lifting class and yoga on an empty stomach and it went fine, but I wouldnt do spin or cardio without something.

~Lori~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Erin said...

I believe that it's different for everyone. There is no way I'd be able to do a really high intensity workout in the AM without eating, but I typically don't eat breakfast before working out first thing in the morning (normally an elliptical workout in my fat burn zone) and I've had pretty good results. I mostly do that because I tend to feel sick if I work out right after I eat, and I don't have time to eat first in the morning.

Lisa Mancini said...

Definitely something to think about. I know I've heard never to workout on an empty stomach. But in reality I do both. I've also come home after exercising on an empty stomach sick because my blood sugar dropped. However, if I had a choice, I'll always do my best to get a little something in my stomach before exercising.

Gen said...

I've heard that you burn fat if you don't eat before your workout most often. But as some people have already said, I tend to feel light-headed if I don't have something (I'll usually have an orange juice before a morning workout because it's processed really fast). And I find if I have something before I work out a little harder than if I was working out on an empty stomach. But that's just me!

Baby Weight and Beyond said...

I have never heard that before....I would go with eating before activity to help with the energy level...

Diandra said...

From what I know, the idea of burning off more fat by working out without eating first is one giant myth. I mean, look at it this way: You burn the same amount of calories, whether you eat before or not. And it does not really matter if you burn off the smoothie first or later:

Option a: Drink smoothie and use the calories in the workout - result: They won't go to your hips.

Option b: Work out, burn "fat calories", drink smoothie, the calories of which are used for - what?

Plus, from my experience (I was there myself and went running a few times in the early morning without breakfast): If you do not eat at least a banana or something before working out, your performance will be worse because your body "thinks" that it is about to starve.

There are dozens of explanations all over the web as to why that is (something to do with your glycogen stores being empty or such), but in the end it comes down to this: If you eat less calories than you burn, you will lose weight. In fact, you could starve yourself all day, work out and then eat two pizzas (750kcal each) for dinner and lose weight. Or have one for breakfast and one for dinner, with nothing inbetween. Okay, it's not exactly a "healthy" plan, but if losing weight was all we were worried about, that might be a valid option. ^^

Krystle kjb Bailey said...

I would think that the winner of the debate would be eat before. You wouldn't drive a car without fuel, you shouldn't run your body without fuel. Your body is a machine and it needs to be fed like one. I always eat a banana or a fiber one bar or something before any workout.

Krystle
skinny-jeans-dreams.blogspot.com

Mrs. D said...

I've tried it both ways, and IF I workout in the morning (weekends only) I need something light in my stomach. I don't eat a full breakfast because I'll get sick. I don't workout on empty because I'll get dizzy. I'm sure it's different for everyone, but that works best for me. String cheese or a banana see me through :)

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