If you’re looking to burn fat, chances are you are inundated with advice from friends and family. Sometimes even the random guy at the gym will have advice when it comes to achieving an effective burn. While advice is usually well-intentioned, it can also be confusing. Particularly when conflicting information abounds. So the question is, does working out hungry burn more fat? Or does it even matter?
The Answer Depends on Who You Ask
At least one study on eating versus not eating prior to working out followed the progress of men running on a treadmill. Some of whom ate breakfast and others who had not eaten since the previous night. Of those runners who performed their routines without having breakfast, researchers saw an increase of up to 20 percent body fat burned when compared to study participants who went into their workouts with food in their stomachs.
Nonetheless, results from a different study published by the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism stand in staunch opposition to those findings. In this conflicting study, participants who ate a light meal or snack prior to working out achieved better fat-burning results than participants who abstained from eating until after their workouts.
Your Body Needs Fuel
Because of the wide variance in results achieved by different researchers, determining which route is best – to eat or not to eat – is nothing if not confusing. However, there is some science to support not eating prior to working out as a means of enhancing the body’s fat-burning potential. Scientists say that the human body depletes itself of glycogen. This is a carbohydrate stored by the body, during sleep. In theory, waking up and exercising on an empty stomach when the body is in a state of glycogen depletion forces the body to burn fat for energy. While that sounds like a legitimate argument for working out prior to eating, the science is not exact. When the body depletes its glycogen stores, it may decide to forego drawing on its fat stores for fuel, opting instead to tap into muscle stores for its energy needs.
Term Life Insurance is super inexpensive for those who are active, healthy and have a good family medical history. To find out just how inexpensive it could be for you, give us 90 seconds, and get 5 no-obligation, online quotes.
Even if not eating puts you in fat-burning beast mode, there are some valid reasons to eat prior to working out. A well-planned, pre-workout snack that contains a medley of carbs, healthy fats and protein can provide that added fuel you need. Especially for high-intensity routines that really drain your energy. Without added fuel, you may find yourself feeling burned out halfway through your regimen. Not eating can also cause your blood sugar to drop, leading to loss of stamina while you work out. In some cases can prevent you from finishing your routine altogether.
Test It Out For Yourself
As you can see, the jury is still out when it comes to eating or not eating prior to your fat-burning workout. To determine which option puts your body in optimal fat-burning mode, a good strategy may be to put both theories to the test. This way you can track your progress and results over time.