Within the fitness world, there is so much talk about whether you should do your morning workouts fasted or after eating something.
We have heard those who say fasted workouts yield higher results.
We have also heard those who say eating before you workout is a MUST!
So, what is the correct answer?
What is the right way to workout in the morning? Fasted? After breakfast? With just a snack?
The information can be confusing and misleading.
This is the conclusion we have come to today:
That may not be the answer you are looking for, but like so many things in life, it really depends on each individual person. There is no MAGICAL way to do things. Each person and situation can be a bit different.
Let’s talk more about our stance of “it depends”…
WORKING OUT FASTED:
Working out first thing in the morning before you eat your first meal can be a great thing as it can help your body burn more fat! This is true if your glycogen storages are used up while you sleep, then causing fat to be burned as an energy source as when you workout!
Also, we love Intermittent Fasting and practice our flexible IF program every day, called LEAN FAST! Pushing your breakfast to after your workout can have long-term benefits such as: improving the body’s response to insulin and encouraging fat burning while in the fasting state.
Here is a caveat: Sometimes your body may not be fully drained of glycogen, so you are still burning the carbs in your body over fat. Secondly, if your glycogen storages are too low–saw from an early dinner the night before or bad sleep, ect–then you may end up skipping the fat burning and actually go straight to burning your muscle, which you DO NOT WANT!
WORKING OUT WITH FOOD IN YOUR STOMACH:
Working out after eating something can often times give your body more energy and in turn allow you to perform better in your workouts!
If you are doing an extremely intense morning workout: such as Crossfit, heavy strength training, a long run, ect… then your body will need extra fuel to not just “get through” the workout but crush your workout and allow yourself to compete at your best!
Some people do well mentally in a workout if they know they have eaten–as it can help them to feel more prepared to not burn out mid-workout.
So, we have talked about both sides and we just want relay the message again that there is no-universally right way to do a morning workout.
Both fasted or after a meal can be great options and effective to reach your health and fitness goals!
But, our major focus for you is to switch your thinking and change your mindset to this:
Which way am I going to get the best workout in?
Fasted or fueled?
Here are some other helpful tips we like to share with our clients:
If you workout early in the morning and want to include Intermittent Fasting, we would recommend trying to have your last meal of the day the night before be a bit earlier. This will allow you to still have a good fasting window while also allowing you to have your first meal post-workout. Eating post-workout to help you to recover well from that workout, is important. An example of meal times for this would be finishing eating between 6:30-8:30pm the night before and then having that first meal post-workout at 6:30am the next morning. Remember that this fasting window will be slightly different for everyone so be sure to find what works best for yours.
If you are able to only have water and/or coffee/tea before your workout that would be ideal. If, though you find that your body needs something to help with that workout there are a couple of options.
1. BCAA’s are a great option to include pre-workout to help get your body ready for the workout. We like a brand called AMRAP. Here’s a link to see more about that:
2. The other option would be to include a small amount of protein pre-workout. An egg or two or a protein shake would be great options for this.
Performance in your workouts is a main priority so find what works best for your body and what allows you to keep the intensity high during those.
From there, we would then recommend to have your first good meal post-workout and to have that be high in protein! This is very important, because whether you do a fasted workout or fueled workout, we recommend making sure to refuel your body post-workout well!
Also, always make sure to hydrate well before, during, and after your workout!
We hope this was helpful for you! As always, we are here to support you however you need on your health and fitness journey!