What To Eat Before Working Out
For those who can stomach it, working out before breakfast may be more beneficial for health than eating first, according to a useful new study of meal timing and physical activity.
The results indicate that when we eat affects how much fat we burn during exercise and also alters molecular activity within fat cells, in ways that could have long-term implications for our physical well-being.
Up until now, the research has mainly been focused on sports performance.
Far less has been known about how meal timing and exercise might affect general health.
The new study, which was published this month in The American Journal of Physiology researchers from the University of Bath in England decided to home in on relatively average people and their fat cells.
The implication of these results is that to gain the greatest health benefits from exercise, it may be wise to skip eating first, says Dylan Thompson, the director of health research at the University of Bath and senior author of the study.
Many questions must still be investigated before scientists can offer recommendations about eating before exercise, Dr. Thompson says. But he will not be surprised, he says, if subsequent data reveal that working out on an empty stomach has advantages.
“If we just think of this in evolutionary terms,” he says, “our ancestors would have had to expend a great deal of energy through physical activity in order to hunt and gather food. So, it would be perfectly normal for the exercise to come first, and the food to follow.”
Top Coach Tip
This entirely depends on what your goal is and what time of day you are training. If your goal is to lose weight, have more energy long term and you train early morning, to maximise the fat burning process you should try and complete this session with only having water (Or a coffee) prior to the session. There are continued benefits post the session as well, where the body is still burning fat after.
Would you fill your car up with inferior petrol?
Research shows it’s very important to focus on the quality of the food you have after your workout. Always try and fill up on high quality foods like fruits, salads and vegetables first, as they are loaded with the nutrients, fibre, vitamins, minerals and enzymes that your body craves. (Half an hour or more after your water.)
However, if your goal is to bulk up and put on weight, then it’s understandable why you load up with the protein after. But try to choose natural proteins where possible.