Mornings are a great time to work out. If you’re one of the many people who spend their mornings working out, then you’ve probably wondered at one time or another whether you should eat breakfast before sweating it out. It’s a common belief that it’s better not to eat anything prior to a workout, especially if you are exercising to lose weight. The concept behind this belief is that when you don’t provide your body with energy from food, the body will instead turn to stored fats for fuel. So what is the real deal when it comes to eating before working out in the morning?
Eating Provides More Energy
When denied energy from food the body will indeed use its fat reserves. To many, this may sound like good news and a sure way to lose weight, but the fact is that this can be more detrimental for you in the long run. When you don’t have available fuel, you also won’t have much energy to support your workout. If you plan to have a long and intense workout session so you can burn the maximum amount of fat and calories, then you also need sufficient energy. When you don’t eat before your morning workout, you will feel tired and weak. Needless to say, if you don’t have the energy to exercise, you won’t be burning many calories either.
To understand how eating before a workout can be beneficial to your exercise routine, you need to understand the inner workings of digestion and how food is transformed to energy. When you work out, the body’s first choice for an energy source is the glycogen that is stored in your liver and muscles. This glycogen is produced from carbohydrates. However, before carbohydrates turn to glycogen, they need to travel through your blood stream first in the form of blood sugar. If your organs do not have the sufficient amount of glycogen, the body will turn to your blood sugar instead. As you can see, when the body has two sources of energy, you get to have more strength for a longer work out.
What You Should Eat
Now that you know how important it is to eat something before you can work out, it’s time to learn what and how much you should eat before your morning work out. Technically, both depend on how long after eating you plan to exercise. For instance, if you are several hours away from your work out then you can afford to eat a complete meal that can include carbs, fats and protein. In contrast, if you’re just eating a few minutes from exercising, you only need to eat a small amount of carbohydrates that can easily be digested so it quickly turns to energy. Some examples of good choices are a muffin or a small baked potato.