Plenty of people who exercise first thing in the morning believe that doing so before eating will give them better results. This is a rumor that has circled around for a long time amongst bodybuilders and even casual exercisers.
The logic behind the idea is there and is sound. If there’s nothing in your stomach for the exercise to burn off, surely it will start using stored energy and fat instead to energize your body. This means that body fat will be broken down and you’ll lose it faster.
But Does It Work?
The body goes through multiple changes while you’re exercising and isn’t as straight forward as people are led to believe. Exercising on an empty stomach does speed up the amount of fat that is broken down but it does not speed up the amount of fat burnt. Your body over estimates the amount of fat that you will need in order to fuel yourself and breaks down too much. Once you’ve stopped exercising and your body doesn’t need this additional fuel, it’s simply restored as body fat once again.
A thirty minute exercise span in the morning will not dictate your entire day; continuing to make good choices and healthy decisions will be the deciding factor on how your body deals with any excess body fat, not what you do in the early hours of the morning before you go about your day.
Cardio is designed, over all, to burn the maximum amount of calories that it can. This requires an intensive work out, which is something you cannot get if you’re running on an empty stomach. This will reduce the amount of effort and intensity that you can put in to your work out and diminishes the results that you get out of it in return.
When you eat and then do cardio, your body will continue to burn fat even once you’ve stopped. This is because the body uses the food as fuel and calories are burnt as heat; this increases the oxygen consumption in the body even after you’ve sat down and started to go about your day. This is superior to fasted cardio as it gives you more results over a longer time span.
Are There Any Side Effects
When you exercise on an empty stomach, whether it be first thing in the morning or last thing at night, you can actually reduce your muscle mass. If your exercise routine is to build muscle, or even maintain what you already have, it’s a good idea to ensure you’ve eaten before you exercise.
To Sum Up
While the reasons behind this logic are understandable, it is more likely that fasted cardio is not as affective for the body as if you were to eat first and ensure the body was correctly fueled. Not only do you burn less over all, but you can end up using your muscle mass to fuel your body instead of body fat!