If you want to get fit through running, this article will show you the amazing benefits of running in the morning before breakfast.
Should I take breakfast before my morning run or not? That is a common question many runners ask themselves regularly. The simple answer to this question is yes.
That being said, eating breakfast before a run has some benefits such as boosting your energy.
I may also note that what you ate the night before and your running routine have a big impact on your morning run. This means you may have to make a few changes in your routine to be able to enjoy the benefits of running in the morning before breakfast.
Read on to discover how you will benefit from running in the morning before eating breakfast.
Benefits of Running in the Morning before Breakfast
1. Saves you time
Most people wake up early in the morning like at 6 am, then change into their running gear and hit the road.
If you want to eat breakfast first, you’d have to wake up at least 2 hours before the run. That way, you would give your body enough time to digest the food.
It is quite unrealistic for most people to wake up at 4 am just so they can have a pre-workout breakfast.
If you get up at your normal time, then make breakfast, have it, wait for it to be digested, you would have to run at a sub-optimal time. This is probably when the sun is out and there is a lot of traffic jam.
2. It spares you the discomfort
In case you are stubborn enough to run immediately after breakfast, you would probably develop a side stitch.
In this study, it was shown that eating less than 2 hours before a run causes a stitch. Although side stitches are not too harmful, they are quite painful. Most seem to get worse as you run. It is thus likely that you’d drop out of the workout.
Having no side stitch is one of the benefits of running in the morning before breakfast.
3. You will not be sluggish or dizzy
When a person has just eaten, their body’s energy is directed towards the stomach.
This is the reason why most people feel sleepy after a heavy meal. Your brain slows down other body functions so that it can focus on digestion.
When running, you want all of your energy to be used for this physical activity. Therefore, it makes sense to not compete with this bodily function by skipping breakfast.
4. Uses up fat reserves when running
Our bodies primarily rely on glycogen for fuel. Glycogen is the form of sugar that your body stores after it has used up the one in your diet.
If you choose to run before eating anything, your body has to burn fat and use that to power you through the run. This means that you are more likely to lose weight.
In this study, it was shown that young men who skipped breakfast before exercising had a greater 24-hour energy balance. Their appetite did not increase as much as people who ate breakfast.
5. Promotes insulin sensitivity
In this study, it was shown that subjects who consumed a lot of fatty and calorie-dense foods had more insulin sensitivity when they exercised in a fasted state.
The research demonstrated that a person is likely to oxidize more fat in the fasted state than the fed state. You would thus be promoting better sugar metabolism in your body if you frequently run on an empty stomach.
Clearly, improved insulin sensitivity is one of the main benefits of running in the morning before breakfast.
6. You eat fewer calories subsequently
As mentioned in (4) above, running in a fasted state does not alter glycogen levels so your appetite remains unchanged. This means that when you eat, you would not consume as much as someone whose glycogen has been altered.
Having a milder appetite and eating less is always a welcome practice for someone who is trying to manage their weight.
Therefore, exercise before eating reduces the damaging effects of a huge post-workout appetite.
7. Causes exercise adaptability
If you already have a ready supply of carbohydrates in your body before you exercise, your muscles will not have the incentive to adapt as you train.
However, when there is no ready fuel, muscle adaptability tends to increase.
8. Reduces gastrointestinal problems
Some people often get nauseous during or immediately after a workout. One of the benefits of running in the morning before breakfast is the protective effect it gives you from stomach problems.
Some people tend to feel gassy when they eat and this can cause cramps as they run. Additionally, when there is too much motion after a person has eaten, you may feel like throwing up.
9. It requires a proper dinner
If you had a very light dinner or skipped it altogether and then ran without eating breakfast, chances are you won’t last long.
You would be too hungry to do anything constructive in the morning. This strategy works best when you are already powered up the night before.
10. It’s ideal for short runs
In case the run is intense, having breakfast gives you the energy you need to engage in vigorous, prolonged running.
If you are training for 2 hours or more, you would require some sort of food.
However, if the exercise session is less than an hour, consider only taking a snack. Breakfast is different from snacking. Skipping breakfast does not mean running on an empty stomach.
You could munch on a banana or a granola bar to give you energy for the workout. Once you complete the run, you can then eat a complete breakfast.
11. Observe and experiment with your body
While the above benefits of running in the morning before breakfast sound appealing, they may not all work for you.
Try skipping breakfast then run at your usual intensity. Observe how your body reacts. Take note of your lethargy, input and any possible physical reactions.
Alternatively, eat a snack and run in the morning then have breakfast after working out. Afterward, eat before running and see how you feel.
Once you have noted these three instances, establish which one made you function optimally. Take note of how your appetite changes and the amount of food you eat throughout the day. Thereafter, choose the regimen that helps you realize your goals.
The Bottom Line
If your ultimate goal is weight loss, then the benefits of running in the morning before breakfast would work for you.
Running in a fasted state uses up fatty cells, curbs your appetite afterward and reduces insulin resistance.
The only disadvantage with running is it doesn’t increase muscle mass. And as you may know, muscles are vital for fast metabolism.
Therefore, if you’re over 35, combine running with these 28 simple home workouts to build muscle while burning fat.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]