Fact v. Fiction: To Burn More Fat You Should Exercise on an Empty Stomach
Fiction. Proper fueling is essential for an effective calorie-burning workout session.
Many people believe that if they exercise before breakfast, they will in turn burn more fat. However, research has shown that the body burns approximately the same amount of fat regardless of whether or not you eat before a workout. The fact of the matter is, after a long night’s sleep your muscles are depleted of glycogen, the stored form of glucose, which is not only needed for your muscles to work harder and for longer, but is also necessary for proper brain function. Because of this, without proper fueling you may actually exercise less intensely, which in turn can decrease the total number of calories burned during your workout. To avoid this and to ensure you maximize your early morning sweat sessions, try eating a small carbohydrate and protein snack, such as a banana and a 4-ounce non-fat plain yogurt, about 30 to 60 minutes before you exercise. This will help to give you the fuel you need to make the most out of your time at the gym.
Jessica Matthews is an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. As a contributor to The Juice Bar, she'll be giving you the scoop on the latest fitness classes, decoding newfangled gym equipment, debunking exercise myths, and more.
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