Smart dieters are always looking for ways to improve their results. This leaves many wondering the same thing: Is it better to eat before working out, or are fasted workouts better?
As is the case with most health-related decisions, what works best for some may not work best for others. However, the science behind fasted workouts suggests that there are benefits to working out fasted. Moreover, there are practical benefits to working out fasted, all of which are important to consider when you’re deciding what works for you.
Scientific benefits of fasted workouts
The primary science behind fasting is related to its hormonal effects. The hormonal changes trigger fat-burning and muscle-building effects, both of which are conducive to reaching your weight loss-related goals.
Better insulin sensitivity
When you eat, the body releases insulin, helping you absorb nutrients. And though insulin plays an integral role in transporting nutrients to cells, it also impairs the breakdown of fatty acids. Thus, when you eat, your body uses food for energy, not fat. Insulin also removes sugar from the bloodstream for storage in the liver, muscles, and fat cells for energy later, when you aren’t eating.
Fasting regularly makes the body more efficient, preventing excess sugar storage. Moreover, fasting, and working out fasted, makes it easier to lose fat, because your body doesn’t have any readily available food from which to draw energy instead of using stored fat. As such, it’s scientifically better to work out fasted than it would be to work out after you’ve eaten, simply because of insulin’s effects on the body.
Increased Human Growth Hormone production
Human Growth Hormone has many positive effects on the body, including:
- building and maintaining muscle mass
- burning fat
- increasing physical stamina
- increasing bone density
- enhancing the immune system
- Growth hormone production is triggered by weight training and some other physical activities, sleep, and fasting. Once you eat, growth hormone production slows. As such, it’s best to fast to maximize the fat-burning and muscle-building effects the hormone is known to induce.
There are other scientific reasons why fasting is beneficial for weight loss beyond hormonal influence alone. One of the most prominent reasons is:
When your body fasts – for example, during sleep – glycogen stores are depleted. When you begin exercising, your body needs energy. And because glycogen stores are depleted, your body will burn fat, rather than readily available energy. Some smart dieters thrive when they work out approximately ten hours after they’ve last eaten, when glycogen is low but not entirely depleted. This means that you’ll still have energy, but won’t be entirely drained and won’t lose steam part of the way through your workout.
Practical benefits of fasted workouts
In addition to the scientific benefits of fasted workouts, there are practical benefits. Two of the most prominent practical benefits include:
- Reduced likelihood of indigestion – indigestion is a common problem if you eat shortly before you work out. Heartburn can be another common side effect of eating close to your workout time. By working out in a fasted state, you can avoid this physical response that can also have an impact on your ability to work out.
- Training to feel less “hungry”– if you wake up hungry and feel like you can’t work out without eating something first, you can train yourself to do so over time. In fact, if you drink water before your workout, you’ll probably be able to work out in a fasted state. At least, you will be able to over time.
Tips to make the most of fasted workouts
If you’re ready to give fasted workouts a try, there are a handful of tips you should keep in mind to make the transition and make the most of each workout.
- Stay hydrated – hydration is particularly important when you aren’t eating before your workout. When you sleep, your body is likely to get dehydrated. If you work out immediately after eating, you’re more likely to exacerbate dehydration, affecting your performance. Drink water before, during, and after your workout to ensure you have optimal performance and feel your best!
- Give yourself time to transition – it can be difficult to do all of your workouts in a fasted state when you’re first getting started. As such, you may not want to go straight into fasted workouts. Instead, reduce the amount you eat before your workout until you can do it without any snacks at all.
- Eat the right foods after your workout – if you aren’t going to eat before your workout, it’s important that you eat afterwards. What you eat, and how much of it, will depend on your diet, size, and activity level. However, it’s usually best to eat something high in protein and carbohydrates within 30 minutes of finishing your workout. This will help your body refuel without undoing the positive effects of your workout.
Are fasted workouts the answer?
While it’s tempting to say yes, there is no definitive proof that fasting is right for everyone. If you try fasting and feel nauseous or weak, it may not be right for you. Fasted workouts don’t have to be your only workouts, either. You may want to work out fasted some of the time, and on other days, when you feel you need it, you can eat something small before you engage in any physical activity.
If you work out for long periods of time, you may also want to bring snacks to consume midway through your workout. A banana is a good snack, or gel packs if you run for longer than 60 minutes.
Give your workouts and results a boost!
Fasting is a simple way to boost your fitness results, as is taking PhenQ! PhenQ, like fasting, accelerates fat loss. Moreover, it boosts energy levels, restricts appetite, and otherwise supports your weight loss goals.
If you’ve been working out and haven’t been getting the results you want, fasting, along with PhenQ, is a simple way to get back on track. Try it for yourself to see whether it’s the right combination to reach your goals!