Eating Before Exercise

For as long as I can remember — from the first time I set foot in a gym actually — I’ve been listening to folks debate the question: Should I eat before I exercise?

It’s interesting that back in the days of “stay hungry” and “pumping iron”, when the big Meccas of bodybuilding like World Gym and Gold’s Gym in Venice, California were home to such legendary bodybuilders as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Franco Columbo, everybody trained on an empty stomach. Bodybuilders of that era believed that you were more likely to mobilize your fat stores for fuel if you didn’t have to burn off a whole bunch of carbs that you just scarfed down for breakfast. We now know that they were mostly incorrect.

A number of new research studies finally shine some light on the matter. Researchers found that eating before exercising has several beneficial effects, including preventing weight gain and maintaining insulin sensitivity.  Proponents point out that you need energy for working out — energy that comes from carbohydrates.

How much should you eat before working out? It depends.  If you’re interested in performing better — like if you’re training for an event — you might want to eat a regular meal first. However, if you are looking to trim down and lose weight, then a piece of fruit, ideally a banana, is a good idea.

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