Most experts agree that starting the day off with a nutritious breakfast results in a range of benefits, such as improved metabolism and better appetite management.
But it is important to plan when you do your morning exercise (pre or post breakfast) for maximum benefits. Recent research has suggested that exercising on an empty stomach may promote fat metabolism (‘burning’) more effectively.
Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males.
A new piece of research, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, investigated the effect of consuming breakfast in a fasted state on postprandial (after eating) metabolism, appetite and macronutrient balance.
The research involved 12 physically active males who completed continuous moderate intensity running, either after consumption of breakfast or in a fasted state.
The researchers found that those subjects who had exercised in a fasted state burned almost 20% more fat compared to those who had consumed breakfast before their workout.
This study builds on the growing body of evidence that suggesting exercising in a fasted state can be beneficial for weight loss. One strategy to try is to occasionally exercise before breakfast (fasted) in an attempt to burn fat more effectively, and to get used to how this feels. Ensure that this is done on a lighter exercise session to start with.
The duration and intensity of the exercise you undertake will affect your decision to eat breakfast before working out. Make sure you have a nutritious post-workout meal that contains sufficient protein and carbohydrates, for muscle refueling and repair. Try a smoothie with yogurt, banana and berries or poached eggs on wholegrain toast.