Is training on an empty stomach a good exercise?

 Is training on an empty stomach a good exercise?


The idea of ​​training on an empty stomach, especially in the morning, and performing aerobic activities, is not new to the performance world. Performing exercises for a certain duration, even more than an hour, at a low intensity and without eating anything for breakfast, will return the body to an efficient fat metabolism, which is an essential ability for athletes and women.



Not all technicians and athletes agree with this methodology, and even in the scientific literature there are pros and cons. However, the topic has become quite topical in recent times, as we have seen demonstrations of great interest in so-called 'intermittent fasting'.


The latter is a topic that has been extensively investigated in the literature, and the evidence supporting the effectiveness of this "method" is encouraging: it appears to be effective for weight loss and body composition change. It is necessary to consider that lunch, even for a whole day, when the requirements of the day are reduced to the requirements of a common relational life, is one thing; It's another thing to train on an empty stomach.


How effective is fasting training?

It is not easy to give a definitive answer to questions about the effectiveness of training on an empty stomach, since the variables that need to be taken into account are numerous: training schedule, type (strength or exercise), duration, intensity of effort and number of hours after the last meal. But let's avoid any misunderstanding right away: to maintain physical efforts, you need energy, the energy that comes from food, and the longer you train, the more important the amount of energy we need. Likewise, it takes more fuel consisting of sugars, which is where the effort is intense.


If one had to endure prolonged effort and a certain intensity, then it would not be possible to do it on an empty stomach, and one would have to face a tragic drop in performance and even some risks. For example, no cyclist, professional or amateur, would think to leave for 200 kilometers on an empty stomach; The same goes for the marathon runner. But when do you train on an empty stomach? There are two main conditions:


We follow a precise training program that predicts the introduction of fasting, at a specified period, before specific training sessions (usually at medium to low intensity) with the aim of forcing the body to use the reserves very efficiently.


We do a moderate to low intensity aerobic activity (such as jogging) in the morning and do it without eating. At the end of the activity, we have a delicious breakfast.


In the first case, it is not necessary to be followed by a specialized technician or doctor; In the second, it is necessary to test your own organism and study its reactions, moving forward gradually, starting, for example, with 20 minutes of light running. We advise not to exceed the active hours per day. On the other hand, if "mixed" activities involving a mixture of aerobic activities and strength training are performed, especially if they are performed at moderate to high intensity, as in the case of "interval training" (intermittent training), a lot of caution is required. The risks of decreased performance and, in the worst case, episodes of hypoglycemia become significant.


breakfast to lose weight?

On the other hand, on the question of the fact that fasting burns a greater amount of fat, which will therefore be the ideal training method for those who must lose weight, opinions for and against appear from the scientific literature. For the simple reason that studies are generally conducted on very small and different samples, it is difficult to extract conclusive evidence from them. What we recommend above all is caution, remembering that the "human machine", to move, needs energy. Anyway, it's good to point out that the physical exercise that really works is the one we've been doing consistently over the years.

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