Not Eating Breakfast Before Your Workout

Not Eating Breakfast Before Your Workout, Is It Helpfull

Exercise before breakfast can provide health benefits for individuals who exercise, such as burning more fat, and aiding them in controlling their blood sugar levels, according to the findings of a recent study released this month in the journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by health experts from two British universities.

Within the six-week study researchers from the universities in Bath and Birmingham looked into dozens of males obese or overweight who were obese from the Bath region of England.

The study revealed that those who exercised prior to breakfast burned off twice as much of fat as those who exercised in the aftermath of an early breakfast.

Researchers found that people who exercised following fasting overnight were less insulin-sensitive when exercising.


The study’s results

Participants, who participated in moderate intensity cycling, ate their meals prior to 8 p.m. in the evening prior to the workout.

Researchers compared the results of two groups: the men who ate breakfast prior to exercising, and those who had breakfast afterwards — and the men in a control group who did not make any lifestyle changes.

Researchers developed this study partly in response to growing evidence suggesting that the timing of meals may affect the efficacy of exercising.

Although exercising prior to breakfast every day for 6 weeks did not result in any changes in weight however, the study showed it had an effect on participants’ health as their bodies responded more positively to insulin.

This has implications for the future: It kept the blood sugar levels of their patients within control and could reduce the risk of developing diseases like heart disease or diabetes.

Researchers say that their study are the first to demonstrate that exercising prior to eating breakfast can impact on exercise with moderate intensity for those who suffer from excess weight or overweight.

The researchers concluded that the increased the use of fat is mostly due to lower levels of insulin in training, meaning that before breakfast exercisers use more fat from their fat tissue as well as within their muscles to fuel.

“The major takeaways from this study is that eating timings when they are in conjunction with exercise may influence the body’s response to exercise” Javier Gonzalez PhD, an instructor in human physiological science from the University of Bath and one of the study’s co-authors told me via email.

“For those who want to reap the health benefits from exercise taking a few classes during the night in a fasted state is likely to bring more benefits than completing every session after the breakfast meal,” the doctor said.

Gonzalez pointed out that previous studies have suggested that the single exercise session prior to breakfast can increase the use of fat. However, prior to this study there was no way to know exactly whether the increase in fat consumption persists for the course of a workout or over an extended amount of time.

“Here we show that the rise in the use of fats during exercising before breakfast continues over the course of six weeks of training and even after people become more fit,” Gonzalez said. “Furthermore this leads to improvement in insulin sensitivity as well as adjustments in muscles that relate to the control of glucose.”

He said that these enhancements in insulin sensitivity and the adaptations to muscle may help to decrease the chance of developing type 2 diabetes.

Todd Astorino, PhD, professor of the discipline of kinesiology in California State University San Marcos Health scientists have been aware for more than 40 years that avoiding foods prior to exercise increases dependence on fats as fuel.

“So the results that they have found aren’t novel,” he said by email. However, he added that what’s interesting is that the levels of insulin were decreased with training for exercise prior to however, not after carbohydrate consumption.

“This suggests that if you know an exerciser who is at risk of developing diabetes or is suffering from high blood sugar levels it is recommended to exercise at a fast to help reduce the response of insulin to food. This is connected to the general metabolic health,” Astorino explained.

He described the study’s findings as revolutionary.

Being healthier and not losing weight

Kent Hansen, an assistant professor in the department of health, exercise and rehabilitation science at Winona State University in Minnesota is of the opinion that the public health message in this case could be that you do not necessarily need to shed body fat in order to become more vulnerable to insulin.

“Let’s suppose that your genes dictate that you’re bigger than others. The message for public health would suggest that even if you’re not losing weight, you could improve your health by using the same method,” he said.

The research was supported through The Physiological Society, Rank Prize Funds as well as the Allen Foundation.

Researchers say the next step will be studying the long-term effects from this type of exercise, and determining whether women can benefit in the same manner as men.

“We conducted this research on males in the beginning to ensure that we could have a homogenous sample of individuals,” Gonzalez said. “We are extremely interested to determine if these results translate to women , too.”

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