Saturday, March 26, 2011

Question for before or after working out?

I've read and heard several different views on this.
Do you eat before or after a workout?
Some theories say you should work out on an empty stomach because then you are burning fat instead of burning what you just ate.
However, in contradiction to this, there is a belief that in order to keep your metabolism up, you need to eat within 30 minutes of waking up. The reason is because you have gone all night with no food and if you go much longer, your body starts to kick into 'starvation mode' where your body 'holds' onto fat instead of burning it, because it doesn't know when the next refueling/meal is coming. The normal day on this theory includes eating small meals every few hours to keep the 'fuel' coming, so your body is NOT in 'starvation mode' and thus NOT holding onto the fat, its burning it for fuel instead. The key to keeping this metabolism boosting theory working is to definately eat when you are hungry (that's your body saying refuel me, I need to burn calories) and if you don't eat, your body holds onto the fat incase it doesn't get any fuel.
I've tried to do this theory a bit and have even been known to wake up in the morning starving, and instead of laying in bed I'll run to the kitchen and grab a handful of blueberries to give my body some 'fuel' and then go back to bed to lay in bed and chat with my hubby. But I feel better doing that because I'm thinking "ok, I fed you body, don't kick into starvation mode and hold onto anything".

some theories say you need to eat a bit before you work out so that you have the nutrition/stamina for the workout, (and this goes right in line with the metabolism boosting/eat every few hours theory).

What do you believe and what do you do?

I tend to do a bit of both.
I usually wake up at 5:30am and go to the treadmill or AMT to get a minimum of 30minutes to a maximum of 90minutes in before my kids wake up. Then I eat a bowl of cereal (non-sugary kind like cheerios/corn flakes/rice crispies/etc) with fresh blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries on top, and with organice skim milk.  If I don't eat cereal, I may eat oatmeal with about a tablespoon of brown sugar (I should try Stevia or Agave nectar or honey, but haven't yet). Or, if I don't eat that, it may be two pieces of whole grain toast with peanut butter (protein to prepare for my classes at the gym).
Breakfast is at about 7:30am, and my gym class starts at 9am. After class at about 10:30 I usually eat a energy bar (different varieties, some high in protein at 200 calories, and some not high in protein, but lower in calories at about 120calories per bar). I'm often feeling a bit weak and shaky after class so I eat the bar, if I feel fine, then I wait till I get home and eat lunch at about 11:30am-noon.
So I tend to workout first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, but then for my second workout I am doing it on a light meal.
What do you do and why?
What theory do you think is right?


  1. ok, i wrote a big long thing and it said it couldn't complete my request to post it. maybe it just hasn't shown up here yet. gr. anywho, short answer, i eat a bar or toast before i run because if i don't i'm almost dry-heaving by the time i'm done. if i eat too much, more nausea. so i do what feels right. if my big long comment never shows up, maybe i'll write it again. ha.

  2. that's connie farmer up there. and here. :)

  3. Yah, I'm split. I mean...if I wake up at least an hour before my workout, then I eat because I will be "starving" within 30 minutes. Usually I get up at least 2-3 hours before my workout and I will eat a good breakfast at around 7 (workout is at 9). Occasionally (like on Saturday) I might not wake up until 7:45 or 8 and in that case, I don't eat or I only eat something really small like a banana or a few almonds. Something to give my belly a little bite...but nothing that will make me naueous. I personally don't think there is a "right or wrong". I think everyone's body is different and you just have to figure out what works best for you. I think your handful of blueberries is perfect!