The Benefits of Eating Before Exercising

Most of us eat before we exercise. If you’re like me, you probably do it without thinking too much about it. But why? One reason might be that our bodies need fuel to work out. But they don’t need much. Studies show that if you exercise on an empty stomach, your body will burn off the glycogen in your muscles and liver within thirty minutes or so. Another reason might be that if we wait until after working out to eat, we’ll be so hungry that we’ll overeat. But here again the evidence is against us. Studies show that people who eat before working out eat just as much afterward, and they don’t gain weight. I do believe in that but if you do an exercise like dynamic pilates manly you most likely have an extra mile in losing weight.

The real reason most of us eat before exercising may be something more subtle: it’s a kind of ritual, a way of giving ourselves permission to go ahead and work out. The psychologists Daniel Mochon and Dan Ariely found that “people are more likely to engage in activities they perceive as morally permissible.” By eating first, we make it easier for ourselves to do something that doesn’t feel good in the moment but pays off later. It’s easier to go running when you’ve already sat down to dinner. Eating before exercising is also an efficient way of getting nutrition into our bodies.

Have a snack before a workout. Studies show that eating a carbohydrate-rich food about an hour before you exercise improves your athletic performance, especially if the exercise is long or intense. In one study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, researchers had cyclists ride for two hours at a moderate pace. Half the group ate a bagel with jam and cream cheese about an hour beforehand; the other half ate nothing. The results were clear: the cyclists who had eaten the bagel did 24 percent more work before becoming exhausted than those who’d fasted.

The reason for this effect is not yet completely understood, but it appears to be due partly to greater energy stores available during exercise, and partly to delayed muscle fatigue. You may need to experiment with different foods to find what works best for you. The important point is that if you have not eaten for at least an hour before exercising, you should consume some easily digested carbohydrate-rich food. The food can be either high in carbohydrates or high in protein plus carbohydrates, but it should definitely include carbohydrates.

What you eat before a workout can have a significant effect on how much energy your body has to put toward the task at hand, according to a study by researchers from the University of Bath. After a high-carbohydrate snack, participants could bike for longer and with more power than after a low-carbohydrate snack. What this means for you: While it’s important to eat something before exercising to give your body fuel, don’t go overboard. If you’re going for a quick-burn cardio session, have something that’s higher in carbohydrate (like a banana or half an energy bar). If you’re going for strength training or endurance training, consider eating something low in carbs (like egg whites and whole-wheat toast) to keep your blood sugar steady and avoid fatigue.

Whether it’s jogging, running, exercising at the gym, or playing a sport like soccer or basketball, we’ve all heard that we should eat something before we work out. But why? It turns out there is science behind it. When your body is digesting and absorbing food, it is busy and doesn’t have time to burn as many calories as when you’re not digesting and absorbing food.

And since burning more calories than you consume is how you lose weight, this means that the less active your digestive system is when you’re exercising, the better. The effect of eating just before working out is to keep your digestive system busy for a few hours. By keeping the digestion process going for a longer time than normal, you burn more calories than if you had eaten earlier and then worked out right afterward.

As with so many things in life, the details are complicated. It’s not clear exactly how long it takes to digest and absorb different kinds of food nor how much energy they burn during the process. But the basic principle is clear enough: eat an hour or two before working out to burn more calories while doing it.

These are the more tips on burning your calories if that is your concern.

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