Why is it not a good idea to work out on an empty stomach?

A burger before training is not ideal lol

There are so many debates about this one aspect of training, and what the effects are for individuals. Of course, this mode of training does not work for all individuals. Some perform better with or without food. I am going to base my answer to this question regarding intermittent fasting. I’m assuming only because you are thinking of fasting when training, and perhaps want to know the benefits of it, and what it can do for you.

Here are some great reasons why fasting is so good for your health, hormones, training goals, and your ability to keep weight off long term.

5 benefits of training in a fasted state

  1. Balancing hormones, and optimising their performance.
    In a fasted state, you improve your insulin sensitivity. Insulin is the key hormone responsible for taking sugars out of our bloodstream, directly to the liver, muscles and fat cells. This is for energy use later. Eating too much can can put us onto the pathway of becoming more insulin resistant, causing heart disease, cancer and making it harder to lose fat stores. Fasting allows us to bring the body back into balance, by improving insulin sensitivity, thereby using the fat stores we have for energy.
  2. Helps us preserve muscle mass and burn body fat
    This is the result of the wonderful growth hormone. This helps us make new muscle tissue, burn body fat and improve physical function and longevity. You can also increase the GH factor by getting a good amount of sleep every night. The only caveat is that our GH is activated in a fasting state, and stops as soon as we eat. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to fast regularly in order to keep your body in this hormonal state.
  3. Helps the men increase their testosterone levels.
    As you know, testosterone is needed for building muscle and reducing body fat in men. It also increases energy and boosts libido. You also get the added benefits of fighting off depression and heart disease.
  4. It helps improve your performance and boost post meal absorption.
    The more compound movements you use when strength training (deadlifts, squats, bench, pull ups and lunges) the more hormonal responses happen in your body, increasing your strength and muscular adaptations. This also has a positive effect on insulin sensitivity, thereby boosting your bodies ability to absorb post workout meals. That means that your essential macros are shuttled to your muscles for repair, instead of being dragged into the fat cells.
  5. Fasting increases your chances of burning body fat.
    When you train in a fasted state, it helps your body increase metabolic adaptations, thereby increasing your chances becoming progressively better at burning more body fat. This is made possible because of an increase in fat-oxidization enzymes. Endurance athletes improve muscle glycogen storage efficiency. Your body actually gets better at using it’s energy stores.

In summary, when you exert your body without any food, it actually gets better at performing when it does have the needed fuel.

Make sure your protein intake is high, and you train heavy. This will ensure you still increase your muscle mass at a good rate, and maintain your energy levels for training while in a fasted state.

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