Health & Nutrition

Should You Exercise when Full or Hungry?

Sport enthusiasts have this ongoing question that nags at them begging for an answer: “I want to get the maximum benefit from my run, aerobics or physical sport that I enjoy, but I’m not sure; will eating before improve my performance or hinder it?”

New research from the Bath University in the UK wanted to check out how eating before exercise or after affects the body. Overweight patients had to run a few days for 60 minutes before eating and on other days they ran 2 hours after a carbohydrate rich meal. Blood samples were taken after the 60 minute run when they ran before eating and when they ran after eating. They also took fat tissue samples before exercise and after exercise.

The results were clearly in favor of exercise before eating. When exercising before eating the body uses up stored fat more readily for energy since there is no new supply of calories from food as of yet. On the other hand when exercising after a meal the fat tissue wasn’t used for fuel as much as the body was busy digesting the newly acquired food for energy and didn’t metabolize any old fat due to the exercise.

So in order to get the body to consume stored fat it’s definitely better to exercise when hungry. But of course there is always personal preference and someone who won’t exercise when hungry should definitely exercise after eating; it’s far better than not exercising at all!


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