Morning exercise on an empty stomach - Good or Bad?

sy2014

Standard Member
I recently read that morning exercise on an empty stomach is best for weight loss - is this true? and I'm not sure if it's good or bad thing to do. Please help, need some advice.
 

Egg White

Distinguished Member
I also heard that morning exercise before breakfast is best for fat loss...

that said - I can't imagine you'd be able to exercise at your full potential on an empty stomach?

and recall reading ages ago that people are more inclined to have a heart attack if they exercise first thing - especially joggers...but I'm not sure what the latest is with this tho.. :)
 

sniffer66

Distinguished Member
I've read a few studies. Nothing conclusive either way from what I can see.

Just do whatever works for you
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
It helps possibly a fraction more but not a huge deal. I'd say the slight benefit might be worth it for cardio but I'd never lift weights on an empty stomach.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
If you're doing exercise fasted then you want to do low intensity stuff like walking (very underrated especially weighted or inclined), a light jog etc low intensity burns mostly fat. Higher intensity stuff uses different energy systems and with glycogen depleted, it's your muscle tissue that will pay the cost. You won't have any explosiveness without Carb/glycogen stores anyway.

Make sure you're hydrated if you train on empty.
 

m1stergeorge

Well-known Member
Agree with the above however for me personally, I need to have *something* before working out. I tend to get a slight dizzy/nausea spell if I gun it with nothing in the tank.
 

Sinead

Well-known Member
As others have said, cardio (low intensity ) yes but no way would I do any HIIT or weights on an empty tum

My show prep cardio is power walking on an empty tum (apart from a cup of black coffee before I go out ;) )
 

hodgey66

Active Member
I read a few things that it stimulates fat loss. I suppose its like many of the other myths that go with training and stuff, but i would maybe believe exercising on an empty stomach could make your body use fat stores. I dont know. I generally gym in the mornings before breakfast, and weights are no issue, hunger feeling goes after a glass of water
 

m1stergeorge

Well-known Member
Just to gauge opinion, just what do people eat before going to the gym?

I've started going to the gym before work (ie 6.30am) and find it difficult to eat anything half decent in the time I roll out of bed, get in the car and end up on the gym floor. Short of an apple or banana, there is little I can do other than a proper bowl of cereal etc. I imagine I'd need to let that settle before working out though which then pinches on the available time I have at the gym.
 

punit12

Active Member
ggrant said:
Just to gauge opinion, just what do people eat before going to the gym?

I've started going to the gym before work (ie 6.30am) and find it difficult to eat anything half decent in the time I roll out of bed, get in the car and end up on the gym floor. Short of an apple or banana, there is little I can do other than a proper bowl of cereal etc. I imagine I'd need to let that settle before working out though which then pinches on the available time I have at the gym.

I take a preworkout supplement 20 mins before my weights session (MusclePharm Assault). I gym at 8am and can't be bothered to wake up that extra hour earlier to eat a proper breakfast and this gives me the energy boost needed to power through the workout. I can then get back home and eat a proper breakfast. The supplement tastes nice too (raspberry lemonade flavour) and has few calories- about 80 per serving I think!
 

qwerty321

Distinguished Member
If I go for a morning run then I'll just be running on water. Don't get the chance to go to the gym early in the morning. I prefer to go at least 2 hours or so after a meal. Generally it is shortly after I get home from work now.
 

Boozehound

Banned
I think it's down to the individual. When i work out in the morning I feel really weak and can't lift anywhere near what I would at night. I have no idea why.
 

Turb007

Well-known Member
here is a really good article on the subject

Bodybuilding.com - The Myth Of Cardio Before Breakfast

I have been doing fasted cardio for months ( since Jan ) and not seen a real benefit ( although i always had some BCAA to prevent muscle loss ) i have still lost weight but no more than if i had eaten , I now have a protein and juice mix before i go to the gym
 

Turb007

Well-known Member
I think it's down to the individual. When i work out in the morning I feel really weak and can't lift anywhere near what I would at night. I have no idea why.

you need food for energy before a workout especially lifting ,ideally at least 35% of your daily carbs allowance and 1.5 to 3 hours before hand to be digested
 

Boozehound

Banned
Yeah, that would make sense. I just feel really drained trying to lift in the morning but on the plus side, I'm usually full of energy all day after it.
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
I think the human body simply adapts. Run fasted, fed, morning, night whatever. Do it long enough and your body adapts. I've weight lifted many times fasted and set PRs and also ran fasted and set best lap times. It's down to how well an individual adapts and the intensity of the exercise. You can't sprint or do any explosive work very well (such as Olympic lifting) on a fast.
 

Solar

Well-known Member
I fast 18 hours every day, and every time I lift heavy weights on an empty stomach, 16 hours at least since my last feed. No pain, no dizzyness, no cramps, nothing.
I decided to do it like this after I watched the horizons fasting documentary, apparently it has now been proven that you can fast up to 3 days without any energy loss.
So these pains and dizzyness that people are reporting I would think are down to sugar levels dropping to a natural level, and they are just not used to it.
As silent ninja said, your body adapts to it.
 

hodgey66

Active Member
Solar said:
I fast 18 hours every day, and every time I lift heavy weights on an empty stomach, 16 hours at least since my last feed. No pain, no dizzyness, no cramps, nothing.
I decided to do it like this after I watched the horizons fasting documentary, apparently it has now been proven that you can fast up to 3 days without any energy loss.
So these pains and dizzyness that people are reporting I would think are down to sugar levels dropping to a natural level, and they are just not used to it.
As silent ninja said, your body adapts to it.

I read by the book by Moseley and its a great read. Haven't tried the fasting extensively yet, managed two days, and it was difficult but was surrounded by food! Going to try it when the cupboards are bare
 

Turb007

Well-known Member
Solar said:
I fast 18 hours every day, and every time I lift heavy weights on an empty stomach, 16 hours at least since my last feed. No pain, no dizzyness, no cramps, nothing.
I decided to do it like this after I watched the horizons fasting documentary, apparently it has now been proven that you can fast up to 3 days without any energy loss.
So these pains and dizzyness that people are reporting I would think are down to sugar levels dropping to a natural level, and they are just not used to it.
As silent ninja said, your body adapts to it.

It depends on your goals though , if you want to build muscle the pre workout meal timings are optimal to give you energy for the workout and to give you essential amino acids to prevent your body entering a catabolic state

If you want to lose muscle or slow your growth potential then your way is fine
 

silent ninja

Well-known Member
It depends on your goals though , if you want to build muscle the pre workout meal timings are optimal to give you energy for the workout and to give you essential amino acids to prevent your body entering a catabolic state

If you want to lose muscle or slow your growth potential then your way is fine

Just to point out there's nothing wrong with a catabolic state. Everyone talks about an anabolic state like it's the only 'good' state we should be in. It's like night and day, you need both.

Consider it this way. What's better: working out or sleeping? One is catabolic (working out always is because you are breaking down molecules for energy) and the other is anabolic (rest, repair, synthesising tissue etc). What good is sleeping if you don't work out? How can you workout if you can't expend energy? What's better working out or sleeping? It's a silly question, you need both!

So in that sense, chemicals that say they'll prevent catabolism or muscle breakdown are largely nonsense. BCAAs help if you're fasting, but by and large as long as you eat enough over a day or week it's pretty much irrelevant. You want to be catabolic in the gym. It's the Yin and Yang.
 
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