By Amy McDonnell | Published on May 5, 2017
Not sure how to fuel your body before you hit the gym? It can be a bit of a mine field to navigate. Should you eat choose a banana, have a protein packed meal or leave out breakfast altogether? Well, it depends on what your goals are.
If you’re looking to burn fat, (and so many of us are!) rather than calories, then new research from the American Journal of Physiology suggests that leaving breakfast until after you’ve finished your session in the gym may be the best way to go.
The study looked into the effects of breakfast habits before a low-intensity workout. When the participants, who were overweight but overall a healthy group, ate a 600-calorie breakfast, they burned more calories during an hour-long treadmill session. However, when they skipped breakfast altogether, they burned more fat.
Why does this happen?
When you fast before working out, genes within fat cells associated with healthier metabolism are activated. As calories are the first to be burned during a workout as they’re more readily available than stored fat, it can be more difficult to target stubborn fat areas.
What does this mean then?
Shall all the non-breakfast eaters start rejoicing and tell all their nagging colleagues that fasting in the morning is, in fact, making them healthier? Sorry, no. The study itself was quite limited and is only relevant to those who choose to sweat it out in the early hours of the morning.
What it does mean, however, is that now we know that ensuring we get in a healthy breakfast before a workout isn’t always essential. This might mean that we can spend bit more time in the morning working out and less time worrying about what goes into the cereal bowl.
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