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Should you workout on an empty stomach?

Should you workout on an empty stomach?

Does exercising on an empty stomach increase your fat-burning potential, or do you need fuel to power through your workout? It’s a contentious issue, so we’ve weighed up the pros and cons for you. 

The Pros

When you exercise your body is drawing on carbohydrates to fuel its movement. When there are no carbs available, your energy will need to come from some other source, which is where your body fat comes in. You are literally burning fat as fuel for your workout.

The Cons

Working out while hungry can have a negative effect on the quality of your performance, as you will struggle to reach the same level of physical exertion as when you have eaten. This means that you may not be able to perform as many reps, sets or miles as normal. Low blood sugar levels are also associated with an empty stomach, which can lead to dizziness and fainting spells while exercising.

The Verdict

It’s a no to the empty stomach workout.
While the theory is that your body will use energy from fat stores, it is equally possible that instead of drawing on fat reserves, it will draw on muscle instead. The last thing you want from a workout is to lose muscle. Plus, if you are spending your whole workout thinking about food, you’re more likely to cut it short, or rush through and injure yourself.

A better plan is to eat the right foods before you work out. A small snack made up of carbohydrates and protein about 30-45 minutes before you exercise will help you to perform at your best, and burn fat.

Not sure what to eat? Fuel your workout with these quick and easy pre-gym snacks.