Exercising on an Empty Stomach: Does It Benefit You?

I have experimented with many different ways to fuel my body to maximize my performance. In the morning, when I prefer to exercise, I’ve tried a variety of menus, including fruit only, cereals, toast, oatmeal, power bars, smoothies, and even just coffee and water. Although it may seem surprising and not be for everyone, I prefer to work out on an empty tummy. Recent research confirms what I’ve found: working out on an unfilled stomach gives me more endurance, energy and lightness than when I have food in my stomach.

Some compelling reasons have made intermittent fasting quite popular. Empty stomachs can trigger hormonal changes that enhance fat loss and muscle building. Insulin is released every time we eat to aid in nutrient absorption. It takes sugar from the bloodstream, and directs it to the liver, muscles, and fat cells for later use. Exercise on an empty stomach will help you burn more fat and give you more energy, as your energy will not be used to digest food. Our body cannot burn fat as long as insulin is released. A rise in insulin can also cause a decrease in growth hormone. This hormone affects our performance, and is elevated if you exercise without food. It manifests in fat burning and muscle metabolism.

You have to find out what is best for you. Try exercising on an empty tummy and see if it makes you feel more energetic or lighter. Also, notice how your performance changes. If your body does not have to work to digest food, you should be able to exert more energy in the gym, yoga, or other physical activities.

The content is not meant to replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any questions about a medical condition, always seek out the advice of a qualified physician.