The dilemma of choosing between exercising on an empty stomach or not has led to a lot of confusion in the fitness industry. In fact, this is probably the most frequently asked question amongst fitness junkies who cannot afford to take a wrong turn when it comes to their fitness. Each one of us desires to see the results of our hard work, but a wrong step can ruin the long and tiring efforts that we’ve put into our workout sessions. For this reason, we have to be cautious when going on a fasted workout, i.e. exercising on an empty stomach. To this end, with a little understanding, you can easily decide between the two.
What Is a Fasted Workout?
A fasted workout usually means exercising without eating anything for several hours beforehand. For some, it speeds up the fat burning process because, in a fasted state, stored carbs known as glycogen and fat are used as a source of energy, which results in more fat loss. On the other hand, being in a fasted state can also lead your body to use up protein, thereby leaving you with low stamina, tiredness, and fatigue.
To sum it up, fasted workouts have their pros and cons for the body. If you wish to try working out in such a state, it’s better to learn more about the risks and benefits. Without further ado, let’s get started!
The Advantages of Fasted Workouts
Working out while fasting can burn fat quickly because your body is using stored fat as fuel as opposed to what you have in your stomach. For some people, eating before working out also makes them heavy and sluggish, so fasting beforehand works for them. Because a fasted workout is usually done in the morning, which is why some people prefer it to exercise late in the evening after spending hours and hours working, it can also be easier to “get it over with” than the alternative.
The Disadvantages of Fasted Workouts
Working out while fasting may make someone more prone to falling and injuring themselves because it can leave the body feeling tired and dizzy. As to the why, it’s because blood sugar levels are reduced and glycogen levels are depleted, leading to sleepiness and shakiness. Fasted workouts can also increase hunger immediately afterward, making it more likely to overeat after the session is over. Even worse, in such a state your body may begin using muscles for energy, which is no good for those who want to gain muscle.
To conclude, if you’re going to do something that’s not as intense like aerobics, yoga, cycling, or running, a fasted workout may be good for you. Working on strength training, on the other hand, is not suitable for fasts because it requires a lot of energy.
What Can I Eat Before a Workout to Get More Energy?
If you’re planning on having a snack before a workout to increase your energy levels, we’ve got yosu covered with a list of the many things you can eat before a high-intensity workout:
- Fresh fruit (especially bananas)
- Nuts and seeds
- Natural chemical-free juices
- Fruit smoothies with a topping of varied fresh fruit
- Fat-free milk
Note: We would advise you to drink natural cold-pressed juice over regular juice, as it preserves more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. DO NOT drink sugary and chemical-filled energy drinks or sodas.
What Should I Eat After a Workout?
After an intense workout session, you need to fill your body with healthy fats, carbs, and proteins for quick muscle recovery. Skipping post-workout meals can leave you with sleepiness and tiredness, so make sure to eat some of the following:
- Whole grains
- Greek yogurt
- Seeds and nuts
Grab a snack within an hour to ease your body’s natural recovery process. You can also eat a full meal after 2-3 hours of a workout, just make sure it doesn’t contain junk food and is not consumed in large proportions. Hydration is also something you can’t miss even if you’re on a fasted cardio. Keeping that in mind, drink water before, during, and after a workout to maintain your body’s optimal flow. Besides water, you can also drink coconut water, lemon water, and chemical-free juice made up of fresh fruits.
The most important advice when it comes to fasted workouts is to listen to your body. If it’s feeling comfortable in any sort of exercise and nutrition program, keep on going; if it’s not, don’t. Nobody knows better than you, so it’s your responsibility to make the right decision for your body and take proper care of it. One more thing, always remember to visit your doctor before starting any program to ensure safety.
I am Rashi, a creative content creator associated with OMJOOS, a brand of More Orgo Private Limited. I am a Graduate from Amity University with a Journalism and Mass Communication degree which gives me broader ways of approaching a topic. I am a strategic thinker who has expertise in writing about Food & cold-pressed juices. In my free time, you will find me either eating food or grocery shopping.