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> Running on an empty stomach – yes or no?

Running on an empty stomach – yes or no?

Publish date 03.10.2022

You can read it in 7 minut 327 views

Running on an empty stomach – yes or no?

Many people love to get up in the morning and start their day with a morning workout. Some consider it a perfect way to start the day – you can rouse your body and get ready for all the tasks that await you. 

OK, running in the morning can make you happy, but what about eating before your workout? Should you eat something right after you wake up and head out for a run? Or maybe running on an empty stomach is not a bad idea?

In this article, we will answer these questions for you. After reading, you will know which option to bet on. 

Running on an empty stomach – what is the most important?

“How can you run on an empty stomach?”

“How can you run first thing in the morning after a meal?”

Both of these questions can be heard during a discussion between two or more runners. All because whether someone runs after eating or on an empty stomach depends on personal preference. 

Some people always need to eat something before training. Even the smallest meal such as a candy bar or cheese. Without such a meal, they are unable to function, for example, they get dizzy. And with it, they have the energy to run and break more records. 

However, some people can’t imagine eating in the morning. When they get up, they can’t think about food, because they feel like throwing up. Therefore, they are running on an empty stomach. 

Then should you run on an empty stomach? It depends on your personal preferences. Remember, if you don’t have the energy to train without a meal and, in addition, you feel bad, it’s a sign that you need to eat something before you head out into the field. Then consume even a small meal that will give you energy, such as an energy bar. 

Every runner has different preferences, so don’t pattern yourself after your colleagues. Through your workouts, you will see how you run better on an empty stomach or after a light meal in the morning. 

Energy bar - running

Running on an empty stomach – how to start?

Do you want to have a go at running on an empty stomach? Do you want to check out if it is for you?

If so, you need to keep a few important aspects in mind. You probably want to go running right away in the morning. However, you should start with exercises at the very beginning on an empty stomach. Do them for about 50 minutes in your home gym (if you have one), or on the carpet. Then you will see how your body will react to the exercise before breakfast. You will see how you will feel. If fine then great, but if you feel weak or dizzy stop exercising and eat something. 

If you are already starting to run on an empty stomach, then reduce the intensity of your workouts. It is considered that you should not run more than 5 km before breakfast. Intervals are excluded.

“Why can’t I run more? Normally I run more and I’m fine.”

Ok, but you don’t run with an empty stomach. If you run longer than that, it can negatively affect your mood and mood for the whole day. What’s more, you may even pass out while running, which you certainly don’t want. 

So, should you run on an empty stomach? Test it out, and see if it’s for you:

  • Don’t run immediately after waking up, give your body about 30 minutes to wake up, then you will get a better workout.
  • Run short distances – close to where you live. Train at a low or moderate intensity. 
  • Drink a glass of water before running. Your body is dehydrated after a night’s sleep, so it’s a good idea to do this, plus take some kind of beverage with you to your workout.  
  • Before starting your run, do a 5-minute warm-up to prepare your body for the effort. 
  • Take a snack with you, such as a candy bar. When you feel worse, you can always eat it and replenish your energy. 

Running on an empty stomach – good or bad? You have to decide this for yourself, it all depends on your body. Some people can do it without a problem, while others can do the opposite. 

Coffee vs running on an empty stomach – good or bad?

Many people need their morning coffee after waking up; they can’t function without it. It gives them energy for the rest of the day. However, will it work if we go running after drinking coffee alone? Unfortunately, no.

“But what do you mean? A morning without my favorite coffee?”

You can drink it for breakfast after training, but not before. By now you’re probably wondering why. Here’s the answer!

  • Coffee drunk on an empty stomach makes you feel a stomach ache, which may result in a quicker visit to the toilet. 
  • Drinking this black beverage increases the chance of heartburn.
  • Coffee also blocks the production of serotonin – that is, the well-known happiness hormone. This will negatively affect not only our mood but also our hormonal balance. 

Therefore, wait to drink a mug of fresh, hot, and aromatic coffee until you have finished your workout. It will complement a delicious breakfast, which, as you know, is the most important meal of the day. 

Running on an empty stomach - coffee

Does running on an empty stomach burn fat?

You’re probably thinking, of course, it’s true. I don’t eat in the morning before my workout, which means I burn more calories. Simple. 

Running on an empty stomach and burning calories is not exactly a fairytale, because there is some evidence to support it. Well – overnight when you sleep you don’t eat, so during the morning run the body has to use energy stores in the form of body fat. This is true, but…

“There is a but?”

Yes. As it turns out, the time of training does not matter. Why? Because it all depends on what you eat – that is, your diet. If you don’t follow it, even running on an empty stomach first thing in the morning won’t do you any good. 

If, after running, you eat two hamburgers for breakfast at a nearby McDonald’s and sip them with a Coke, you have nothing to count on to burn calories and lose weight. 

When can running on an empty stomach make a difference in weight loss?

It will help if your morning workout makes you more motivated to stick to your diet during the day. Running will improve your mood, so you won’t start looking for comfort in snacks. 

However, it could also be that by missing a meal you will have less energy to train, making your run less intense and burning fewer calories. 

However, there is nothing worse than rewarding yourself for progress or simply getting up in the morning.

“I got up in the morning, I ran 4 km before breakfast, so now I can eat a donut. It’s my reward!”

Unfortunately, that’s not how it works. Then you will eat more calories and you will no longer be in a caloric deficit – that is, where we eat fewer calories than we need. However, remember that caloric deficit should be arranged so as not to lose more than 0.5-1 kg per week. For an energy deficit to have weight-loss effects, even a small difference in the number of calories supplied and consumed is enough.

Remember, that your caloric deficit should not be too high, because it may cause: 

  • attenuation, 
  • fainting, 
  • memory impairment, 
  • decreased performance, 
  • decrease in fertility, 
  • decrease in concentration.
Running on an empty stomach in the morning

How about not eating breakfast in the morning at all? 

This is not a good idea. Stopping eating breakfast can affect the body badly. After all, everyone says that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. 

If you don’t eat breakfast in the morning, you won’t have energy, you’ll feel tired and unwilling to do your daily activities. What’s more, missing a morning meal can prolong your brain’s response and make you not as focused on your tasks. 

Missing breakfast also increases the risk of the evening and nighttime snacking. Your body is sure to rebuke the meal you skipped in the morning, and so to satisfy your hunger you will eat more at night. If you’re dieting you’ll see fewer results. 

The conclusion is one – not eating breakfast leads to eating disorders. Therefore, eat breakfast before or after your workout. Don’t go to work on an empty stomach. Take care of your body and health! 

Should you run on an empty stomach? I hope that now, you know. As you can see it depends on your personal preferences. Whether you are a person who can run on an empty stomach or not, you have to find out for yourself. However, remember to always eat breakfast in the morning. 

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