Try a Pre-Workout Fast

, , , | dlacord | Wednesday, June 16th, 2010 at 8:33 am

Bike Nutrition

A recent study by researchers in Europe suggests that fasting before a workout might help get rid of more fat.   Here’s the reasoning:  If you don’t eat before exercising, you don’t have carbohydrates lying around to burn, so your body burns fat instead.

“When you exercise (after fasting), your adrenalin is high and your insulin is low,” said Peter Hespel, a professor of exercise physiology at the University of Leuven in Belgium, in an Associated Press story.

The AP reports that in a 2008 study, Hespel tested the effects of this concept on men who did their endurance training workouts after fasting compared to those who ate before their workout.  In the men who didn’t eat, researchers found an increase in the amount of proteins needed to process fat – the fasting got their bodies ready to burn more fat.

Deb Acord

Note from UltraRob: Hammer Nutrition has long recommended not eating for 3 hours before long workouts or races, not for weight loss, but to increase endurance for the same reasons as this study found. It has worked well for me but I have to start eating right after starting or I get behind on calories.

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One response to “Try a Pre-Workout Fast”

  1. Ryan says:

    What about the other side of that argument that limits the intensity of your workout when starting in a fasted state? The problem with this approach is that you are starting on essentially an empty gas tank with little to no stored carbohydrate, but carbohydrate is what fuels intensity. You can’t hit your power ranges, can’t sustain the pace for the same amount of time as in a fed state, and won’t burn as many calories per unit time since intensity is limited. Higher percentage of Calories from fat – yes. Higher total Calories burned – no. The old adage of “fat burns in a carbohydrate flame” is always forgotten with these studies that come out. Scientifically they have some appeal, but practically they hold nothing.

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