You May Be Doing it All Wrong: Why It is Better to Workout on an Empty Stomach

You May Be Doing it All Wrong: Why It is Better to Workout on an Empty Stomach

The easiest advice to anyone will give you to lose weight and get fit is to exercise regularly but how much and when you should be exercising are also critical issues that need to be taken into consideration. We know that exercising is good and also that exercising in the morning can really help but did you know that it is best to exercise on an empty stomach? We didn’t until now.

You are often recommended to have a quick high-energy snack that acts as a stimulator. In fact, there has always been a debate about what we should be eating before a workout but a group of researchers  the University of Bath in Britain have finally put this debate to rest. According to them, you should exercise on an empty stomach to boost your metabolism and lose weight. This is also popularly known as ‘fasted cardio’ and it is believed to help you burn more fat.

The study analysed the effects of eating versus fasting on the gene expression in the adipose (fat) tissue in response to exercise and claims that it is better to exercise on an empty stomach to enjoy good health. Researchers give a reason for the same explaining that after you eat something, the adipose tissue gets busy responding to that meal and the episode of exercise may not produce the same beneficial results in the tissue.

To prove their findings, study participants comprised of a group of overweight men. They were asked to walk for 60 minutes at 60 per cent maximum oxygen consumption on an empty stomach and, on another occasion, two hours after consuming a high-calorie carbohydrate-rich breakfast.


The research team took multiple blood samples after eating or fasting and after exercising. They also collected fat tissue samples immediately before and one hour after walking. After analyzing, it was revealed that the gene expression in the adipose tissue differed significantly in the two trials. It was found that the expression of two genes, PDK4 and HSL, increased when the men fasted and exercised and decreased when they ate before exercising.

The rise in PDK4 likely indicates that stored fat was used to fuel metabolism during exercise instead of carbohydrates from the recent meal and therefore, it may help in promoting extra weight loss. A lot of health and fitness experts also advice that you should exercise on an empty stomach as you cells are able to deliver large amounts of oxygen to your muscles and thus, potentially burn more fat. It can also trigger a set of hormonal changes that can promote muscle gain and fat loss.