should you or should you not??

Not everyone likes to tackle a workout before the sun is up, but for those of us who have to (or just love to get them over with early in the day!), deciding whether to eat breakfast before or after is a pretty common dilemma.

Some researchers have claimed that exercising in a fasted state (i.e. right after you wake up) helps train your body to burn fat more effectively, while others say that’s simply not true.  What to believe??

Well, there’s a lot of hype around this “fasted cardio” to apparently help burn fat more efficiently.  Not enough research on subjects like you and I can prove that it actually works.  The study most often cited in articles that recommend exercising in a fasted state was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology in 2010.  The subjects were people who are eating 50 percent of their calories in fat. How many athletes actually fall into that category? Most athletes concerned with their fueling and performance are not eating 50 percent of their calories in fat and are not eating 30 percent more calories per day than their bodies need.  I’m sure individuals who are eating too much all of the time would benefit from exercising in a fasted state, but for athletes who want to lose five or 10 or 20 pounds, and who are already in training, are probably better off eating first.

Another issue is this….  If you’re just doing cardio, you may be able to get away with not eating, but if you’re lifting weight – and heavy weight, you’re going to need that immediate energy or at least need to be refueling it ASAP.

Personally, I’m better off eating something before exercising.  I make the effort to get up a little earlier to have something small, even if it’s only a banana or some Gatorade (watered down, preferably).  My drink of choice is my BCAAs ( mixed with water.  I take it with me and sip it while I’m training.  Whether this is purely psychological or just buying into media hype, I don’t know but it works for me!

THE BOTTOM LINE: It’s your body!  Do your research and see what works best for you.  We’re all amazing machines, but what works for some, may not be necessary for others.  This was my two cents!

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