12/08/2008 9:26am, #1
- Join Date
- May 2008
Better to eat before or after a.m. workout
I had advised my brother (who doesn't train any MA's, but lifts regularly for beach muscle) to eat breakfast before doing the morning run he's added to his normal routine. He googled my advice and found many sources saying it's better to do this workout on an empty stomach. His goal is to shed a few pounds so he can see the muscle he's worked to build.
Further googling reveals that there are self-proclaimed experts who say both that it is better to eat before an a.m. cardio session or to do the session on an empty stomach. Some are claiming that once the body uses up its already diminished glycogen stores, it will switch to lean mass as an energy source, others claim that it will utilize stored fat and not touch muscle tissue.
I apologize if this has been answered before (I did put a resonable effort into a search), but I would think this is something that's been studied and proven one way or the other. Does anyone know a source where I can draw a definitive conclusion on the matter?
12/08/2008 12:03pm, #2
Short answer is that a morning run before eating anything is going to spike his cortisol levels, which will result in myofibrillar atrophy. The effect it'll have on which energy systems are taxed is more complex, but most of the "information" about targeting particular energy reserves in aerobic activity is not well-supported by actual research.
12/08/2008 3:05pm, #3
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
+1 on the cortisol levels. Also, why would he not want to eat and leave his body in catabolic state? When you first wake up your body needs energy to run off of. Period. If you don't eat, you don't provide your body with that energy. Is it possible that if you jumped up and started running that he MIGHT burn stored fat? Maybe. That all really depends on the person and their metabolism. The AVERAGE person needs that food.
Advice on him being average in that regard: design the breakfast for fat burning. I.E. good source of simple fiber (oatmeal, steel or Irish the best), good source of protein (eggs, egg whites), and some early morning protein shake (in order to stop the catabolic state that the body ALL READY is in from sleep). All in smaller servings.
AT A MINIMUM I would say have a Whey protein shake in the morning then do the run. That would at least stop the catabolic state. Then breakfast upon return.
Just my .02!
12/08/2008 5:46pm, #4
You're a scrapper, I like that."-Ronin69
12/09/2008 9:38pm, #5
I usually don't do more than drink a bit of gatorade or some other powdered carbohydrate beverage before a morning run or PT session, if that. I don't eat anything, because I run hard enough that food will cause me to puke. If I do drink anything with caloric content, I try to keep it at 100 calories or below. Then again, I run and work out to be physically fit, not to have a six pack.
I almost always split up my cardio and weight lifting (or muscular strength and endurance type stuff) so that one is in the morning, and one is in the afternoon. In between, I try to get a big breakfast (egg white scramble with diced tomatoes, olives, jalepenos, onions, green peppers, a little cheese, and some turkey sausage, as well as a big bowl of fruit, and a glass of milk or water) right after my workout, and a moderate but "clean" lunch a couple hours before my afternoon workout. By clean I mean pretty basic: Some kind of plain protein, fruit, some carbs, and vegetables.
I also take N.O. XLPODE or whatever the **** it is before I lift weights, which makes me want to tear a car in half with my bare hands (**** you if you don't like it, I get it for really cheap anyway), then dinner with maybe a supplemental protein shake (if my meal is light on protein) during the magic hour after my workout.
Last edited by Cassius; 12/09/2008 9:40pm at ."No. Listen to me because I know what I'm talking about here." -- Hannibal
12/09/2008 10:05pm, #6
- Join Date
- May 2008
Yeah, that was my original advice, and so far I'm sticking with it. Small meal (for my bro, I suggested a pear, to get some fiber into his diet along with some quick release energy) before the a.m. workout and real high-protein breakfast right after. This is what I do, and I have felt like it worked, but that evidence is obviously anecdotal, so I was hoping a definitive study was handy to one of the physical training gurus around here.
In any case, I'm confident my advice wasn't any more ignorant than what he'd found in his google misadventures.