Should you Eat Before a Workout?

Updated at: Jan 24, 2018
Should you Eat Before a Workout?

A big fitness myth that has been floating around forever is that working out on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat. It seems like everyone is spouting this myth, but the truth relies on science. Find out the facts!

Ariba Khaliq
Exercise & FitnessWritten by: Ariba KhaliqPublished at: Jan 24, 2018

Never eat before a workout- is a MYTH! Please don’t believe it.

The Truth: You should always eat something before exercising so your body has enough fuel to power through your workout. You’re welcome!

The reason behind this widely accepted myth is that sacrificing food before a work out will force your body to burn more fat while you sweat it out. But, this is a big, fat lie and starving yourself before exercising can actually be damaging to your body. Let’s get over this fitness myth once and for all.

Your body needs sugar to exert energy

A certain amount of sugar is needed by your body as fuel when training. If you don’t provide it with that blood sugar, your body will convert your own muscle tissue into energy. A study published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal looked at cyclists who ate before they trained versus those who fasted before they trained. The amount of fat burn was the same for both groups, but those who had trained without eating first had 10 percent of their calorie burn come from protein — including their own muscle mass. You’re trying to build muscle, not eat away at it!

You need the energy to perform at high intensity

Your trainer would probably be telling you to work out as hard as you can for as long as you can. But you can’t do that if your body isn’t fuelled properly. Think about it this way: You can’t drive your car without fuel, use your phone without charging it. Similarly, if you haven’t eaten anything, your workout wouldn’t be as intense as if you’d fuelled up beforehand. If this doesn’t convince you enough, consider that working out on an empty stomach will more likely cause your blood sugar to fall, making you feel dizzy and sluggish.

A healthy snack will do the trick

So, you don’t need to pig out, just eating something 45 minutes to an hour before training and you’ll have more energy and endurance to work harder, burn more calories, and improve your muscle tone. Go for something with carbohydrates and protein, like a whey shake, low-fat yoghurt with berries, or a banana or apple slices with natural almond butter.

The Bottom Line: You should always eat something before a workout. I’m not suggesting you pig out. A small, healthy snack consisting of carbohydrates and protein will properly fuel your body for a killer workout.


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