Before? After?

21 May

A person on facebook posted the question: Going to workout in the morning – should I eat before or after my workout?

As one can imagine, the person received lots of “right” answers from many people….and, none of those people, with the exception of me, are in the fitness industry.  They were stating their opinion.

The next day I started reading my IDEA Fitness Journal for the month of May and the research article for CECs was entitled, Eating or Fasting for Fat Loss: A Controversy Resolved, and it addressed the same question the person on facebook had asked the day before.

I won’t quote all of the stats, scientific language, studies performed, and more but I will quote the practical application that was given for fitness professionals: 

“For decades, some exercise “gurus” have been proclaiming that to lose more fat, enthusiasts should do their morning workout in a fasted state.  This research clearly refutes that claim.  Indeed, if a client seeks to burn more calories from a fat source, eating a light breakfast before the morning workout would be recommended.  After the training session, this produces a sustained increase in metabolism (i.e., an increase in the chemical reactions in the body that liberate energy, measured by oxygen consumption) and a reduction in RER (causing the body to burn more fat as fuel).  Encourage clients to eat or drink something easily digestible at least 20-30 minutes (or up to 1 hour) before the morning workout.  Because glucose is the preferred energy source for most exercise, a pre-exercise morning snack should include foods that are high in carbohydrates and easy to digest.  Such foods include fruits, breads, energy bars.  It is best to choose carbohydrates with low glycemic indexes, as this will ensure greater fat utilization during and after the workout.  Make sure clients also drink some water prior to their workouts, to ensure proper hydration.”

So, there you have it; and it backs my advice to the person that she needed to eat something light before working out, such as, toast with honey/cinnamon or a banana.

If we think of food as fuel for our bodies, we will give our bodies the energy they need to help us attain the results we are looking for.  If it’s been 8-10 hours since food was put into our bodies, we need to give our bodies some nourishment before we expect them to carry us through an intense workout.

So, I guess the correct answer is before AND after 🙂




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: