"eating before a workout?"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Should you or should you not eat before working out?

The one question which have been debated by many. Recent studies have shown that NOT eating before a workout burns more fats. It's definitely proven & true, but wait - before you go all out in the gym without any pre-workout fuel, make a good comparison and see which method works out better for you. Remember, there is no right or wrong to either one.

The exact answer to that question is really simple - personal preference.

I would always recommend anything that's high in carbohydrates and protein (cereal with milk, protein bars, oats, etc) at least an hour before working out. If you really don't have the time, then have something much smaller like a banana (recommended), an apple, yogurt or some small pieces of wheat biscuits 15-30 minutes before your workout.

Now, what you benefit from this is:

  • It can boost recovery and strength gains.
  • It can help you sustain longer, more intense workouts.
  • It can help you avoid low blood sugar, which can make you feel dizzy or nauseous.
  • It can make your workouts more enjoyable (since you're not thinking about eating the whole time).

You still burn fat in every session, just not as much compared to the other method.

This method, based on a research done in Belgium with 27 healthy young men successfully proved that you lose significantly more weight when you don't eat before working out. Of course, there are also potential pitfalls in this new discovery.

What you can benefit from this:

  • Improved glucose tolerance & insulin sensitivity.
  • You are proven to be burning much more fats.
  • Maximized training results (faster way to achieve abs).

The potential pitfalls:

  • Working out while you're hungry may interrupt workout intensity.
  • Dizziness or fainting while exercising. 
  • You might possibly eat more than usual after your workout.

FACT: Athletes like Lance Armstrong and Michael Phelps scarf down enormous amounts of food before a race.

I thought about it, I tried out both methods and from a logical point of view, I think that the best way to maximize results without ruining your momentum is to implement both methods into your weekly routine.

Depending on how comfortable you are with the 'not eating' method, you can use that once or twice a week during your workout sessions (assuming you workout 5 times a week) and then go with the usual for the rest of the days.

Like I've said, this is purely based on personal preference. I personally prefer the pre-workout fuel method because I workout in the evenings and I usually get really hungry by then. The new method may workout better for you if you workout early in the mornings. Whichever it may be, some sort of workout is better than no workout at all. :)


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