The Merits & Demerits Of Working Out On An Empty Stomach

If you are confused whether an empty stomach workout is good or bad, read this article to find out.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Aug 09, 2022Updated at: Aug 09, 2022
The Merits & Demerits Of Working Out On An Empty Stomach

Working out regularly  is great for health but when and how you workout is the most crucial factor. Some people believe that morning workouts are the best while some like to burn those extra calories at night. This is actually because different people have different body mechanisms. Not everyone will yield the same result with the same exercises. Similarly, there is a lot of debate on working out on an empty stomach, whether it is good or bad. This largely depends on your age and internal health. It is neither good nor bad but situational.

Is An Empty Stomach Workout Good Or Bad?

Working out on an empty stomach is a personal choice. As long as you get favourable results and do not hurt your health, it can be good. But it is not meant for anyone and everyone. What is your goal for exercising is also an important factor in deciding the time and type of workout. 

Also Read: 6 Benefits Of Working Out In The Morning

When is working out on an empty stomach good?

If your goal is weight loss or fat loss then an empty stomach workout may be good for you. Why maybe? There is some research that claims  fat burns faster in a fasted state as compared to a fed state. According to a study published in the journal ‘Obesity’, alternate day fasting state workout can bring promising weight loss results. It was also found that if participants consumed only 25% of the total daily calories the other days, they experienced astounding results that cannot be obtained from exercise or diet alone. Thus, your diet and exercise need to be coordinated to achieve the best results.

Empty Stomach Workout Good Or Bad

On the contrary, in a study published in the journal ‘JAMA Internal Medicine’, researchers did not find any associated benefits of alternate-day fasting on weight loss. Instead, participants of the study had better results by following a traditional diet. 

Why is working out on an empty stomach bad?

During the night, our body works and makes certain physiological adjustments like managing blood glucose levels to keep the body functioning and you wake up energetic. This is called the break-down state. When you exercise first thing in the morning without eating anything, your body remains in this state and continues to make adjustments and break down energy stores to manage glucose levels. This may lead to muscle loss. If your body doesn’t seem to support you during early morning * empty stomach workouts, you should stop doing that.

Also Read: Is Coffee A Good Pre Workout Drink? Fitness Expert Answers

Empty Stomach Workout Good

Young adults with no health issues and active lifestyle can consider working out on an empty stomach but there are some age groups that need to strictly avoid empty stomach workouts. Senior citizens or those with a chronic health issue(like diabetes, hypertension, etc.) or autoimmune disorders must eat something before working out in the morning. Be it a banana or a slice of bread with peanut butter or a handful of nuts, have something for better health benefits.

Risk of Bonking

Empty stomach workout can lead to a condition called ‘Bonking’. This is an athletic term used for a situation where a person’s blood sugar levels drop down due to not eating anything before exercising. This leads to lethargy, lightheadedness and fainting. Thus, it is advised to avoid vigorous exercising on an empty stomach. Eat light but eat.

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