Studies published this year in Strength and Conditioning Journal showed that the body burns about the same amount of fat regardless of whether you eat before your workout or hit the gym on an empty stomach. The real difference came afterward, where those who hit the gym on an empty stomach lost more muscle than those who ate beforehand.
These new studies challenge the notion that because there’s no fuel for the workout your body will consume more fat reserves. In fact, the studies show that the fat burning process stops quickly and the body turns to muscle instead.
The studies stop short of saying explicitly what you should do, but they do debunk the notion that you get a benefit from working out on an empty stomach. Do you prefer to eat before you go for a morning run, or wait until you get home? Share your exercise tips in the comments.
Really? The Claim: Exercising on an Empty Stomach Burns More Fat [The New York Times]