Should You Eat Before Your Morning Workout?
Want to maximize your morning workout? Skip breakfast. Crack-of-dawn exercisers who work out on an empty stomach can burn more body fat, according to new research from Northumbria University.
In the study, 12 physically fit men did treadmill exercises in the morning, either after they had eaten breakfast or in a fasted state (not eating since the night before). Turns out, the participants who ran on an empty stomach burned almost 20-percent more fat compared to those who had eaten breakfast before their workout. As a result, the authors of the study believe people should exercise without breakfast to get the most out of early sweat sessions.
However, despite what this study indicates, some dietitians still believe it’s smart to eat a light snack before hitting the gym. “I think it’s better to work out with food in your stomach, says Keri Gans, registered dietitian and author of The Small Change Diet. “The average person hasn’t eaten for at least seven hours and will need food for energy,” she explains.
Before first-thing-in–the-morning workouts, Gans recommends a small snack that offers high fiber, carbohydrates, and protein. For example, go for a small banana and a spoonful of peanut butter, she advises. You can enjoy this 30 minutes before you exercise—or less—depending on your tolerance for food prior to exercise.
Other light breakfasts to try before hitting the gym:
- Greek Yogurt with Honey
- Hard-boiled egg and orange juice
- Whole grain bread with almond butter
For more ideas, check out The Best Mini Meals to Eat Before Exercising.
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