Is the Best Time to Workout Before Breakfast?

Looking to lose your love handles? New research suggests you may be better off heading for the gyminsteadof the kitchen first thing in the morning. The debate about whether you should eat before or after your morning sweat sesh has raged for years, but a new study from the University of Bath in the U.K. finds that exercising before eating breakfast could double the ability to burn fat.

The small study of 30 obese men found that those who worked out before eating breakfast burned twice the fat as the men who ate before exercising.

  • That’s because exercising with no fuel from food forces the body to turn to stored carbs and when those are gone, it moves on to fat cells.
  • Unfortunately, the eat-after group didn’t lose more weight than the eat-before group during the six weeks of the study, but researchers say it did have “profound and positive” effects on the health of the group that fasted.

Granted, this study was small, so it’s not clear if the findings will apply to people aside from overweight men, and many exercise experts encourage eating before working out to help you power through. So what’s the takeaway? More research is needed to see if this holds true for women, but fitting exercise into your schedule at any time is better than not exercising at all.


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