Eat Before You Work Out To Burn Fat Without Losing Muscle

Eat Before You Work Out To Burn Fat Without Losing Muscle

We’ve discussed what you should eat before, during, and after exercise before, but it’s also important to make sure you eat before starting your daily exercise regimen.Photo by Jose Oquendo.

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]


  • I can’t imagine eating before I run. I’d get sick from all the food bouncing around. Isn’t that what stitches are caused by? Too much in the stomach.

    • But where else would you get your energy from?

      Your body uses quite a bit of energy to function and where does that come from? Calories and what is calories? Food.

      If you intend to do some extensive cardio something like an intake of carbs would be appropriate. eg: oats,ceral and toast.

  • As for the myth about stitches the reason for a stitch is simple. The inner organs are hanging from several ligaments, which, in turn, are fixed to the diaphragm, the muscular “plate” between chest and abdomen. Liver, spleen, stomach, small intestine and colon form a weight of several kilograms, hanging from the diaphragm. The impact of every step forces the inner organs to move downwards.
    Additionally, the diaphragm moves upwards on every expiration to force air out of the lungs. This continuous up/down stress may cause a cramp in the diaphragm: stitch. Stitches occurs most often on the right hand side because of the liver being the heaviest organ, and therefore the one stressing the diaphragm the most.

    A proper breathing technique would remedy this problem or perhaps slow down your pace.

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