The Empty Stomach Workout Myth

by Stephanie Sharpe

There has been some research that says exercising on an empty stomach burns more fat than when compared to eating before exercising. However the difference is small enough to not be meaningful. In fact, with no food in your system, you are likely to lose muscle instead of fat. Food is fuel which you need for exercise which means that without food, exercise intensity is decreased as well as the overall calories that are burned. A person can also feel nauseous or light headed and even pass out during a workout on an empty stomach.


A reduced intake of carbohydrates can increase the breakdown of protein which is detrimental to strength and muscle building. Having carbohydrates in your system during exercise will help to burn fat more efficiently.  It is recommended to have something small such as fruit or a piece of bread anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours before a workout to boost energy and enhance the quality of a workout.

Empty Stomach_infographic

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