Pre-exercise fasting techniques are in vogue at the moment. Subscribed to by the likes of Madonna (who currently swears by her “cadio-fasting” regime), these approaches are all about depriving yourself of calories before getting your sweat on. Some studies have shown that this approach can help our bodies burn more fat when we workout – but it doesn’t sound like the best idea ever, right?
Breakfast of Champions
New research would seem to agree that getting a sweat on without much fuel in your system isn’t necessarily the way to go. While some fledgling studies indicate fasting and cardio might burn fat faster, alternative research shows that eating breakfast before working out can actually help you burn off carbohydrates and calories more effectively – even after your fitness session.
According to researchers, eating breakfast before your workout helps you burn more carbohydrates while you workout and increase your metabolism afterwards too. Compared to skipping breakfast, study participants who ate breakfast before exercising were able to digest and metabolise carbohydrates more efficiently throughout the day.
Eat More, Burn More
You may think that this higher level and speed of carbohydrate processing may just be down to the greater number of carbohydrates consumed. Not so! This recent research demonstrated that the carbohydrates burned as a result of eating before exercise included carbs stored in participants’ muscles as glycogen.
Although the study doesn’t indicate whether or not this effect is present when exercisers routinely eat before fitness sessions, it does suggest that fuelling up before feeling the burn promotes better metabolisation of the food we eat, even when we’re not going for a run after we’ve chowed down.
Do you eat before you work out? What’s your ultimate fitness breakfast? Have you tried fasting before fitness sessions? Share your recipes and experiences with other readers below.