There are two types of athletes who train in the morning: those who do not eat breakfast before exercising (except for a cup of coffee) and those who prefer to have a good breakfast before morning training. Many people in the first group do not eat to avoid digestion problems, while the others argue that their body cannot work without the energy that food gives you. Both thoughts regarding training and eating are valid. Therefore, we are going to reveal some of the keys to deciding whether you should exercise before or after breakfast, and perform more than ever in your workouts.
When deciding whether to train before or after breakfast, you will need to consider more than personal preference. Studies turn in favor of those suggesting that breakfast is best avoided. In a recent study, researchers looked at overweight but healthy men. The men completed one hour of training (walking) at a moderate pace, once without having eaten anything before and once having had breakfast two hours before. The subjects burned fatter when they fasted, so it was concluded that exercising on an empty stomach had positive effects on their metabolism. This study was relatively small, and more supplements are needed, but the results suggest not eating anything 60 minutes before exercising it may be the best option to lose fat.
Training on an empty stomach is something that will only benefit you if you are able to complete it successfully. In general, most of us have enough energy stored in our bodies to complete a 45-minute moderate-intensity workout, according to Darin Hulslander, a nutritionist and personal trainer who runs a reputable fitness center.
It’s worth noting that most people wake up slightly dehydrated, so drinking a glass of water right after waking up is a good option for everyone. Of course, it is important to take into account the drawbacks of training without breakfast and the type of training that is going to be done before or after breakfast. You may be able to complete your one-hour yoga class without having previously eaten any food, but it would be crazy to go for a 10-kilometer run without getting energy hours before.
Choosing fasting and breakfast definitely depends on the type of training you are going to do. If your training consists of walking for two or three kilometers, you will probably get more benefits if you do not eat anything previously. However, a resistance or high intensity training will be much better if we have charged our body with energy hours before.
What should we have for breakfast to exercise?
The body uses its fat reserves to give us that necessary energy (this is how fat burning occurs), but we can also eat to lose fat. The best option is to eat protein (to prevent muscle damage) and carbohydrates (to gain energy) two to three hours before exercising. As an example, we recommend a fruit salad with Greek yogurt or two eggs with toast.
If you are one of those people who get up without any intention to prepare an elaborate breakfast, your best option may be to have a protein shake with half a banana an hour before training. It includes 15 to 20 grams of protein for your body to digest easily but gives you the energy you need.
This recommendation is more focused on a workout to lose body fat. When preparing for an endurance session, for example, your carbohydrate intake should be much higher. A study from the University of Sydney, in Australia, concluded that taking between 30 and 80 grams of carbohydrates before training, or what is the same as a cup of oatmeal and a banana, helped you resist your exercise session for longer weather.