Why Working Out Hungry Is a Bad Idea
Working Out Hungry May Hinder Your Fitness and Weight-loss
Have you ever gone to a morning workout with your personal trainer hungry? Exercising without eating first may hinder your fitness and weight-loss, according to a new study. It’s a question that has perplexed gym rats for years, ever since that best seller “Body for Life” suggests that exercising with an empty tummy, working out hungry, would speed up fat burn.
The book claims that not eating before exercising drives your body to shift from quickly burning carbohydrates (something you usually get from food) as a fuel source to burn those fat. But according to Brad Schoenfeld, MS, CSCS, professor in the department of exercise science at Lehman College in New York claim that argument doesn’t hold water.
An article in the 2011 issue of Strength and Conditioning Journal, Schoenfeld examined the research that’s been conducted on how our bodies function during exercise. He learned that, whether you are working out hungry or eat before exercise, your body burns fat the same.
Working Out Hungry Can Cause Muscle Loss
Interestingly Schoenfeld pointed out that working out on an empty stomach can actually cause muscle loss, especially if you regularly workout hungry. Your body goes into a survival mode when hungry and draws protein away from muscle. When hungry, the body focuses more on survival, than looking good at the beach. As a result, you lose muscle, which can, over time, slow your metabolism. This makes it harder to lose weight.
Working Out Hungry Does You No Favours
Fitness training on an empty stomach means you don’t have enough energy to put in a good workout including high intensity interval training. Tempting as it may seem to rush out the door hungry because you are in a hurry, or to cut down on calories, working out hungry does not do you any favours. You aren’t giving yourself the fuel you need to last through a workout. You could be losing muscle.