There are a lot of fitness myths floating around in gyms. We often see and hear them from clients while they are lifting weights or running on the treadmill. As fitness professionals, we love busting myths and sharing the truth so you can reach your fitness goals faster. One of the biggest questions we get from clients is, “Should I eat before I workout in the morning?” What do you think the answer is?
Too many people believe that exercising on an empty stomach, especially first thing in the morning, will help you burn more fat. This myth is just a big, fat lie. Starving yourself, even for just overnight or a few hours, can hurt your body. Let’s take a look at the science to figure out why.
Should I Eat Before I Workout in the Morning?
Your body needs a small amount of sugar to exert energy. Your body uses blood sugar for energy during exercise. If your body can’t find any in your bloodstream, it will start using your muscle tissue for energy. A 2009 study published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal looked at cyclists who ate before they trained or raced and those who did not. The study found that the amount of fat burned for both groups were the same, however, the group that did not eat before working out burned about 10% of their energy from muscle proteins.
Your body needs energy to perform at a high intensity. Your body needs energy to keep moving. Think of it this way. Your iPhone won’t work after the battery dies. You can’t drive a car after your run out of petrol. Your body is the same way. If you don’t eat before your workout, your body won’t be able to work as hard or long. Plus, you’ll feel the effects of low blood sugar. Don’t be surprised if you feel sluggish and dizzy. That’s a sign that you need to eat something!
What You Should I Eat Before I Workout in the Morning?
A pre-workout meal should be consumed 2-3 hours and up to 30 minutes before your workout. Chances are if you workout in the morning before work, you’re not able to eat two hours in advanced. Don’t feel like you need to eat a three course eat or the perfect food. Just eat something simple and easy to digest.
Something as simple as a piece of food, like an apple or banana, yogurt, or a nutrition bar, will help fuel your body for your morning workout. However, if you have a finicky stomach, you might need to experiment a bit to see what works for you.
It’s time to put the myth aside and eat before a morning workout. Your body will thank you for it.