Exercising on an Empty Stomach? Should or Shouldn’t You?

It’s an argument that has gone on since weight lifting began: Is it good or bad to exercise on an empty stomach? There have been many opinions offered on the subject, whether to eat before exercise or exercise without eating.

Exercising on an Empty Stomach? Should or Shouldn’t You?

The answer is one that will finally end the debate. Well, maybe not. It really depends on each person and their preference, kind of like whether you prefer to workout in the morning or in the evening. Each person performs differently in different circumstances, so it is a personal preference. It really is what works best for each person. But let’s look at some old wives’ tales about it.

There is now research that debunks a lot of popular myths: eat small meals throughout the day to speed up your metabolism, fasting will not make you fat, and working out on an empty stomach will not deter your workout results. In fact, I have recently tried intermittent fasting and have lost 5 lbs. in one week.

Intermittent fasting can promote muscle growth and fat loss because fasting causes your hormones to change throughout the body and those changes help with muscle growth and fat loss.

How does this happen? Intermittent fasting increases the body’s growth hormone, a hormone that assists the body to make new muscle tissue, burn fat and increase bone mass. When you get a good night’s sleep and strength train along with your fasting, you will notice an enormous difference in your body.

Intermittent fasting also increases your body’s insulin sensitivity. The body releases insulin when we eat to help us absorb the nutrients from our food. Insulin then removes the sugars from our blood stream and redirects them to our liver, muscles and fat cells to be used as energy later. If you eat too much too often, you become resistant to insulin, and poor insulin sensitivity increases your risk of heart diseases and cancer. It also makes it harder for your body to lose body fat. Intermittent fasting is a way to fix this because your body release insulin less so you become more sensitive to insulin, and that makes it easier to lose fat, improves blood flow to muscles and even helps with the cravings of a bad diet.

Intermittent Fasting

We also need to discuss testosterone when it comes to intermittent fasting. Testosterone is critical in increasing muscle mass and reducing body fat, and increasing energy levels. Testosterone also decreases depression and heart issues. Intermittent fasting alone does not increase testosterone, but when combined with exercise, it is a wonderful way to produce large amounts of testosterone, which in turn is a great way to increase muscle mass and burning fat capacity. Some exercises that cause your body to release copious amounts of testosterone are large muscle group exercises like squats and deadlifts. Exercising while fasting also allows your body to absorb your post workout meal easier and quicker.

Basically, exercising on empty stomach forces your body to become more efficient at using its energy stores and guarantees carbs, proteins and fats go to the right places in the body and are not stored as fat except as a last resort. It also has been shown that people exercising while fasting become increasingly efficient at burning fat at higher levels of intensity because of an increase in fat burning enzymes that are produced in a fasted state.

So, let’s say you are an endurance athlete and not a body builder. Does intermittent fasting have a benefit for you? Yes, because when you are running on empty, you are still making the body better at using its energy stores. In other words, when you get used to performing on empty, when you do get food, your body responds positively and performs at an even greater rate. Intermittent fasting has also been shown to improve an athlete’s VO2 Max, which is the ability of the athlete to utilize oxygen during exercise and is a great measure for someone’s fitness level.

Fluids Dehydration

There have been some studies that have shown fasting to decrease performance, but those fasts are mainly those without fluids so dehydration can become a factor. Also, while intermittent fasting has many benefits, those that workout after eating have also had impressive performances. There are even studies that show eating before exercise causes participants to eat less calories throughout the day.

Whatever decision you make, it important to know your body and give it the nutrients it needs. There is not a magic answer. It is very important to eat balanced meals, to incorporate both cardio and strength training as part of your exercise program, and drink lots of water.

There is not an easy fix for anyone. Many clients I work with are looking for an easy fix, and the biggest hurdle most people still have is the consistency in their workouts.

Add workout supplement like Blackwolf workout to your exercise which offers the muscles requirements for uppermost performance and also gains.

The best exercise is the one you will do every day. And the healthiest diet is the one you follow 95% of the time. One myth is that you cannot have any treats, but that is not true.

If you keep your eating clean about 95% of the time, you will see a major difference in not only your body, but in your sleep patterns, your mood and your willingness to choose healthy food. It takes about 12 weeks for your frontal brain to connect to your middle brain to form new habits that stick.

Your brain creates new neuro-pathways when you perform behaviors consistently, whether good or bad. Imagine water running through a mountain. The more the water runs over the rock, the greater the indentation it creates, and the more likely the water will run on that path.

Imagine your brain and the choices you make creating new behaviors and creating new pathways with that behavior. That’s why it becomes easier over an extended period to make good choices. It must be consistent. This is a very good reason to stay the course, no matter how you choose to work out and eat, whether that’s on an empty stomach or after eating.

You May Also Want To Read – Fasted Exercise: Effective Strategy for Shaping the Body and Fat Loss?

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Liz Faison

Liz Faison is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach who works with women of all ages to discover their best selves through

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