To Fuel or Not to Fuel

August 30, 2016

Working Out on an Empty Stomach



Fitness information can be very gray.  There are always topics up for debate: should I eat carbs before or after my workout?  Should I workout in the morning or at night?  Will eating late at night ruin my progress?  Etc, etc.  Today, I am going to talk about the importance of nourishing your body before hitting the gym. 


As we all know, the food we eat gives us energy.  Have you tried doing anything while starving?  It’s miserable.  Hitting the gym on an empty stomach can deliver the same results: feeling irritable, light headed and just having no pep in your step or power to push through a workout.  While working out on an empty stomach can burn more fat DURING the exercise itself, your post workout fat burn is compromised.  I have mentioned the ever famous “ afterburn effect” in the past on the ol’ blog.  But, to refresh your memory, this afterburn effect is in short, the calorie burn after exercise (  Your body will have to recover more after pushing through an intense workout than one of low intensity.  You need fuel in order to do this.


Consuming a snack that contains protein and carbohydrates prior to a workout will do the trick.  A banana and a hardboiled egg is a snack that takes zero effort (let’s all assume the eggs are ready to go!)  If you have some more time, try cooking up some oatmeal and mix the eggs in it.  Add some berries for a hint of sweetness. 


Leaving the gym feeling like you could have given more is the worst.  Be prepared to hit the gym nourished! 

The Author

Karen Bobos, MSed

Karen M. Bobos, MSed, has been in the fitness industry since 1996 and feels her highest accomplishments are those results achieved by her clients through her guidance. She educates clients that there is no trick to being healthy, no magic pills, but rather optimal health is achieved through eating right and moving your body.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *