A small study at Northumbria University found exercising on an empty stomach burned 20% more fat than those who had breakfast first. They had actually set out to prove the idea that exercising doesn’t make you eat more than you burn.
Many of us believe exercise makes us eat more, having gone to the gym burnt a paltry amount of calories really and then had to stop in at the bakery on the way home.
The researchers put their theory to the test and had 12 active male participants exercise at 10 am either having eaten breakfast or not. Following their treadmill session, they were given a recovery drink.
The results –
- neither group chose to eat more calories at lunch than they had burned
- they did not experience increased appetite during the day
What I am thinking here is that maybe that recovery drink had something to do with not needing to gorge themselves later. It is like the researchers set up the test to disprove that we aren’t hungry after exercise, which is not true in my experience.
If you use up your available energy reserves by exercising on an empty stomach, your body is going to be very low on blood sugar and will demand immediate replenishment. Which normally means high fat, high carb and instant.
I personally have started having a whey protein shake after a strenuous workout and it does make a difference.
I also think this is a miniscule study – 6 in 2 groups for one day? Not exactly significant, and certainly doesn’t prove “Exercise doesn’t make you hungry” – or have I missed the point?
Can see the ScienceDaily article here:
Lose fat faster before breakfast