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From our blog.

Exercising on Empty Proves to be an Empty Cause

AMY GARDNER / July 11, 2011

A client recently mentioned that a trainer told her to workout in the morning on an empty stomach claiming that this would accelerate fat loss.  This is a myth, one that I will gladly bust.  I’ve heard many people describe the theory – starving the body of fuel before exercise forces it to turn to fat stores for energy.  The reality is, we don’t burn more fat when we exercise on empty.  In fact, our bodies are more likely to breakdown muscle tissue when we’re in a starved state.  This article summarizes the supporting research – Exercising on an Empty Stomach Does not Lead to Greater Fat Loss.

Not to mention, it’s absolutely no fun to exercise when you’re hungry.  Low blood sugar leads to nausea, dizziness, headaches and fatigue.  Exercising in this state seems like a good recipe for a trip to the ER to me!  Not to mention, you’re likely to work out harder (and enjoy it more) if you have some fuel in your system.

Of course, you may want to avoid eating a large meal right before working out.  A good rule of thumb is to plan workouts for an hour after snacks or two hours after meals to allow adequate time for digestion.  If you’re working out early in the morning or need to grab a snack right before exercising, choose something easy-to-digest.  A good pre-workout snacks include a short-term energy source (carbohydrate) and a long-term energy source (protein or fat).  Here are some options for quick, easy-to-digest energy boosts:

-a slice of toast or banana with peanut butter
-a handful of trail mix
-fruit & yogurt smoothie
-nutrition bar with a combination of carbohydrate, protein and fat

Try these yummy, homeade granola bars for a quick, on-the-go treat.  Homeade Granola Bars