When it comes to dieting and exercising your way to a leaner, sexier you, the “science” behind fat loss might seem pretty straightforward: eat less, exercise more. But the realities of diet and exercise for fat loss might surprise you. In fact, if you truly want to achieve a fit, healthier body, there are certain things you need to know about the reason it’s important to eat before you exercise, and what you should eat before a workout.
First of all, it might seem like a good idea to exercise on an empty stomach. You may have even been told at some point that fasted cardio dips into your energy reserves, thus burning more fat. Or maybe some other nonsense “logical” thinking behind depriving your body of nutrition before a workout. But studies like this one done by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Medicine prove that your weight loss results differ insignificantly whether you eat before you workout or not.
In fact, as Christian Thibaudeau of T-Nation points out, the real difference between eating or not eating before a workout is the type of weight loss that will occur: fasted cardio will result in the breaking down of muscle, whereas supplying your body with the nutrition it needs before a workout will give it the energy it needs to maintain muscle, ultimately allowing your body to burn more calories even at rest (aka fat loss even when you aren’t sweating your butt off!) Don’t worry, if you eat right before you exercise, you’ll be building muscle to give you that bottom you’ve always wanted.