Is training on an empty stomach a good practice?
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Health and Wellness

Is training on an empty stomach a good practice?

The idea of fasting, especially in the morning, and doing aerobic exercise is not new in the world of performance. Training for a certain period, even more than an hour, at medium or low intensity and without breakfast, accustoms the body to an efficient fat metabolism, which is a fundamental ability of endurance athletes.

Is training on an empty stomach a good practice?

Not all technicians and athletes agree with this technique, and even in the scientific literature you can find pros and cons. However, recently this topic has become somewhat relevant, given the great interest in the so-called "intermittent fasting". Also, if you want to know more about this and many other subjects, can provide you with some valuable information.

How effective is fasting training?

It is not easy to give a definitive answer to questions related to the effectiveness of fasted training, as many variables need to be taken into account: training time, type of training (aerobic or strength), duration, intensity, and number of hours since the last workout. Food.

But let's clear the field for misunderstandings: to maintain physical effort, you need energy, the energy that comes from food, and the longer the duration of the training, the more energy you need. Similarly, the greater the intensity of the effort, the more sugar fuel is required.

If you have to endure prolonged efforts of a certain intensity, this cannot be done on an empty stomach, this will lead to a sharp drop in performance and even to certain risks. For example, no cyclist, whether professional or amateur, would ever dream of starting a fast 200 km race; the same applies to the marathon runner. So when does it make sense to train on an empty stomach? Essentially there are two conditions:

  • A precise training program, which means incorporating certain fasting workouts (usually at medium to low intensity) for a specific period of time in order to force the body to use lipid stores very efficiently;
  • Aerobic activity of moderate and low intensity (for example, jogging) is performed in the morning without pre-meal. At the end of the activity, you can eat a nutritious breakfast.

In the first case, the supervision of a specialist or a doctor is necessary, in the second, it is necessary to check your body and study its reactions, acting gradually, starting, for example, with 20 minutes of easy running, we do not recommend exceeding an hour of fasting activity.On the other hand, if you are doing "mixed" exercises that involve a combination of aerobic activity and strength, especially at medium to high intensity, as in the case of interval training, you need to be very careful. The risks of impaired performance and, in the worst case, episodes of hypoglycemia become significant.

Fasting for weight loss?

On the other hand, on the question of whether more fat will be burned on an empty stomach, which would be the ideal training method for those who are about to lose weight, there are both favorable and unfavorable opinions in the scientific literature, simply because studies are generally conducted on small samples and are very different from each other, so it is difficult to draw final conclusions from them. It would be good to recommend caution, remembering that the "man-car" needs energy to move. In any case, it should be noted that the physical exercises that really work are those that are done regularly and consistently over many years.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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