Is It OK to Workout on an Empty Stomach?

Is It Bad to Exercise on an Empty Stomach?
Is It Bad to Exercise on an Empty Stomach?

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to working out – some people like pilates, some like powerlifting. It’s a very personal matter and workouts should always bring you joy. And it should, above all, be actually healthy for you – you have to remember about proper nutrition.

Fasting training – what happens in the body?

Here we will first look at a specific protein called mTOR.

It plays a central role in the regulation of many basic cellular processes, including protein synthesis. How do you regulate it? – In short, by integrating nutritional and physical signals – both positive (amino acid intake, exercise, insulin response) and negative (such as energy stress, the body’s response to this stress, etc.) to assess whether and how much muscle tissue needs to be played.

In simpler terms, mTOR assesses the costs and benefits to the body of triggering muscle protein synthesis and whether it is appropriate at the moment.

When you train on an empty stomach – mTOR suppresses this synthesis and muscle growth is slower. Because from an evolutionary point of view, it is not logical to dramatically increase protein synthesis (conversion into muscle tissue) when there is not enough protein to cover the body’s needs.

This is just one of the reasons why fasting training is not optimal for people working to gain muscle mass.

However, according to one study, even in the absence of proper nutrition – in the morning workout after a night fast (ie just a morning workout on an empty stomach, when the last meal before it is the day before dinner), taking only a dietary supplement of essential amino acids is sufficient to significantly increase protein synthesis compared to fasting training.

Another study from 2004, which examines the benefits of protein synthesis from a pre-workout whey protein diet, came to interesting conclusions. According to him, the intake of a dose of whey protein before training provides up to 2.5 times better absorption of amino acids in the loaded muscle, compared to its intake after training.

The disadvantage of this study is that it was conducted with a small group of people, insufficient to give it statistical significance for a wide range of the population. Ie these results, although achieved under controlled, reliable conditions, have not been achieved to a large enough extent to be considered unconditionally valid in the majority of people and cases.

As a matter of fact, both pre-workout and post-workout nutrition have their advantages, which you can learn about by following the attached links.

When Do You Need Proper Nutrition?

Of course, with some sports, everything is our own personal choice – from the time when we want to work out to where exactly we want to do it. But with others, we have to be careful. With more extreme sports or when you take a discipline very seriously and are practicing with intensity, you need to make sure you’re taking proper care of yourself.

You need to know your goal and what to do to achieve it. An online store Perfect Body from Ireland is going to help you with any workout-related goal. They ship their nutritional products from Ireland to the UK and Europe.

Reasons Behind Not Eating Breakfast First

There are some people who like to work out first thing in the morning – it gives their day a good start and before they start anything else, they’ve already got one successful and productive thing done. That mindset appeals to them and they feel happy exercising like that.

But a lot of them work out without breakfast. From a logical point of view, this makes sense. You would have to wait before exercising if you have a full stomach that wouldn’t work if you really just wanted to work out in the morning and then go to work. You would have to wake up extremely early for your breakfast to get digested and then work out and still be on time at your job.

Letting Yourself Eat Instinctively

For most people, if you’re not training to be a professional or doing insanely intense workouts you have more freedom to decide on certain matters on your own. If your morning jogs, swims or yoga classes are purely recreational, it’s how you feel that should dictate what you do.

If you’re most comfortable not eating breakfast and a workout in the morning gives you energy for the rest of the day then it’s what you should do. But if you feel like you don’t have enough energy to even finish a workout session and are miserable after then you should reconsider skipping breakfast.

Although some people believe that skipping breakfast before a workout will help you burn more fat it’s how you feel that matters the most. It’s not worth it to try to burn an extra bit of fat if it means you’ll be more miserable for the rest of the day – you should always think about your health – physical and mental – first.

Intuitively, you may think that fasting accelerates fat burning. And to some extent this is true – fat oxidation (ie burning as a source of energy) is higher during fasting training, but some studies show that fasting cardio training does not lead to increased fat oxidation during exercise and after its end. In addition, these levels of oxidation after the end of the load are even higher if a dose of protein is taken before it (min. 25-30 grams of pure protein).

In other words, exercising on an empty stomach can burn more fat for energy, but that doesn’t mean you burn more calories in general. On the contrary… In order for fasting training to be more effective for weight loss (compared to post-workout training), it must either increase energy expenditure or improve the absorption of nutrients by the body in some way. And none of these conditions are present.

Final Thoughts

Working out is truly a personal thing and everyone does what they like best. Obviously, you need to do proper research and make sure that you’re taking care of yourself the way you’re supposed to and that you’re doing everything correctly.

Because, above all, you have to stay safe and not bring harm to yourself unintentionally. If you’re an amateur, you don’t have to think too much about anything, but when you’re taking your workout very seriously, you really need to know what you’re doing.

I'm NOT a doctor! I'm just passionate about health and healthy leaving. The information on this website, such as graphics, images, text and all other materials, is provided for reference and educational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. The content is not intended to be complete or exhaustive or to apply to any specific individual's medical condition.