Gym-goers and athletes tend to push themselves on empty stomachs in the belief they’ll burn up more fat.
Most believe in the theory that exercising on an empty stomach will make the body use up fat reserves and covert it into energy instead of the glucose or carbohydrates that may be readily available from a meal or a drink before the workout. But while it seems to make sense, research now shows that exercising on an empty stomach doesn’t offer any benefit and may actually work against you.
According to a recent report published this year in a fitness journal in the US, it has been established that the body burns the same amount of fat irrespective of whether you eat before or after a workout. But the problem arises in the fact that dizzy spells notwithstanding, you will lose muscle by exercising in a state of hunger. The study also found that and without food to help the workout, the intensity of the exercise and the total calorie burn will be reduced. So, that leaves you not only exhausted, but with less muscle and no energy to burn more fat.
The studies found that when people trained with nothing in their stomachs, about 10 percent of the calories they burned came from protein, including muscle.
In an earlier study, researchers had found that eating light before a meal was beneficial. Those who consumed 45 grams of carbohydrates before their workouts ended up eating less through the rest of the day.
Experts now advise a light meal of oats or even a milkshake before a workout will go a long way in extending the benefits of the time spent in a gym. Those pushing the heavy ones in the hope of building muscle are well advised to go the Dara Singh way of egg ‘n’ milkshake.