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Best For Your Morning Workout: Feast Or Famine?

Best For Your Morning Workout: Feast Or Famine?


ARE YOU EATING YOUR MORNING MEAL BEFORE OR AFTER YOUR WORKOUT? CHOOSING CORRECTLY MAY HELP YOU TRIM SOME EXCESS FAT. Morning workouts are extremely popular as they help you start each day with a feel-good burst of adrenaline and activity. A popular question is whether or not food should be consumed before the workout or not. For many people, fasted cardio is thought to help promote greater fat burning while some feel working out on an empty stomach results in a lackluster workout.

A study was recently published in Sports Medicine that examined the impact of combining two forms of cardio with either pre-exercise ingestion of carbohydrate or protein before the workout (Wingfield et al. 2015). Twenty young, active women completed each combination and the authors found, not surprisingly, that the high-intensity interval training workout produced a greater rate of caloric expenditure when compared to continuous intensity cardio after the workout was completed. In addition, more fat was also found to be burned for fuel after the interval workout.

However, that was not the sole focus of the study. Interestingly, when a single dose of protein was given to the participants before each form of exercise, significantly greater rates of calorie burning were found when compared to carbohydrate ingestion. In addition to the greatest calorie burning rates, significantly higher amounts of fat were oxidized. The authors concluded that pre-exercise ingestion of protein may help to maximize both calorie burning and fat burning after cardio exercise.

Scientific Reference

Wingfield, H. L., A. E. Smith-Ryan, M. N. Melvin, E. J. Roelofs, E. T. Trexler, A. C. Hackney, M. A. Weaver, and E. D. Ryan. 2015. "The acute effect of exercise modality and nutrition manipulations on post-exercise resting energy expenditure and respiratory exchange ratio in women: a randomized trial."  Sports Med Open 2. doi: 10.1186/s40798-015-0010-3.