Saturday, May 21, 2011

Should I Eat Before My Morning Cardio?

by Kris Pitcher

Here's a great question.

"Will I really burn more fat if I skip breakfast before my workout?"

A. Eat your Wheaties. Whether or not you nosh, you'll burn the same number of calories you always do on your morning jog. Although the body breaks down extra fat for fuel when you exercise on an empty stomach, much of it is not the jiggly sort (aka adipose fat) you would like to fry off your abs, but a different variety that is stored in your muscles for energy. To lose more adipose fat, your best bet is to do intervals, says Brad Schoenfild, lead study author of a review of fat-burning research published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal.

This comes from Fitness magazine. We hear, "not the jiggly sort..." But don't forget the lead sentence..."Although the body breaks down extra fat for fuel when you exercise on an empty stomach,..." Keep in mind the big picture - fat burned for fuel is fat burned for fuel. You don't get to decide where it comes from. So if we're burning extra fat by not eating before our morning cardio, wouldn't it make sense not to eat before our morning cardio?

The reason this strikes me is we read these little "blips" of information, and they are from reputable sources (the Strength and Conditioning Journal) but is the information entirely in context? Yes we'll burn the same number of calories, but he follows by saying we'll burn more fat. We're talking about a matter of percentages of fat vs. glucose (stored carbohydrate) burned for fuel use.

My point isn't to dip my toes in minutia here, my point is to use the information you know to question what you read. That's all. Now we're all sitting with our spoons mid-mouth not knowing what to do, right?!

We are average people...move more, make good nutritional choices. We're in this for the long-haul. Whether we burn 2% more fat by not eating before our cardio in the morning is not going to make or break us. Now, if you're on your way to the Olympics - that's another story! Simply think about the information you read, and go back to the basics...they always work.

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