“If you’re in the habit of eating breakfast before exercising in the morning, you may want to reconsider the order in which you start your day as there are significant benefits to exercising in a fasted state.
A common belief is that you need to eat breakfast to optimize exercise performance. While there’s evidence to support this stance,1 other evidence suggests you can reap important health benefits by exercising in a fasted state.
Fasted Exercise Curbs Food Intake and Improves Cognition
Research2,3 published in the August 2019 issue of The Journal of Nutrition found that skipping breakfast before exercise helps curb food intake for the remainder of the day, resulting in an overall energy deficit — in this case averaging 400 calories per day.
Earlier research,4 published in 2015, found that women who skipped breakfast and worked out on an empty stomach had better working memory in the midafternoon and reported less mental fatigue and tension later in the day than those who ate breakfast (in this case a cereal-based meal) before exercising.
Fasted Exercise Improves Glucose and Insulin Parameters
Most recently, a study10 published in the October 2019 issue of The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that the timing of your meal when exercising impacts “acute metabolic responses to exercise.” In other words, when you eat will impact your body’s responses to your workout, for better or worse.
The study included an acute randomized crossover trial and a six-week randomized training trial involving overweight and/or obese men. In the acute trial, the researchers compared the effects of eating a balanced breakfast before versus after moderate-intensity cycling.
In the training trial, which lasted six weeks, they assessed the impact of eating a carbohydrate-rich breakfast either before or after training. Results showed:
• Exercising before eating a balanced (mixed micronutrient) breakfast resulted in higher intramuscular fat utilization in Type 1 and Type 2 muscle fibers. Stored intramuscular fat is thought to play a role in insulin resistance,11 so this finding suggests fasted exercise improves your insulin sensitivity.
• Exercising before eating a high-carb breakfast resulted in improved glucose sensitivity and lower insulin levels after eating.
• Exercising before breakfast also improved remodeling of skeletal muscle phospholipids and the protein content of the glucose transport protein (GLUT4), which are embedded in your cell membranes and facilitate glucose entry into the cell.
As a principal mediator of glucose uptake by your muscle, GLUT4 helps maintain glucose homeostasis (balance) in your body.12 By improving the ability of your muscle to store glucose as glycogen (which is then used to produce energy), GLUT4 helps improve your glucose tolerance and lowers insulin resistance,13 thus lowering your risk of Type 2 diabetes.
The finding that exercising while fasting has a beneficial impact on GLUT4 is not new. In a 2010 study,14 those who exercised fasted increased their GLUT4 levels by 28% compared to those who had a carb-rich meal before training, or controls who did not train.
This result was only for the acute impact of fasting exercise. When you exercise fasting, in the long term you also increase autophagy, which facilitates muscle growth. Muscle growth, of course, is enhanced if you are doing resistance training, especially like Blood Flow Resistance Training.
In fact, exercising while you are fasting for more than 14 to 18 hours likely activates as much autophagy as if you were fasting for two to three days. It does this by increasing AMPK, NAD+ and inhibiting mTOR. I personally only eat in a four-hour window and typically start my exercise after fasting for 18 hours.
Additionally, your muscles are the largest sink for glucose in your body. So, if you have more muscle mass you will be able to easily remove it from your blood and store it in your muscles and, as a result, you will have decreased insulin resistance.
In conclusion, the authors of this October 2019 study15 noted that “exercise performed before versus after nutrient intake (i.e., in the fasted state) may exert beneficial effects on lipid utilization and reduce postprandial insulinemia.”
Medical News Today quotes16 co-author Dr. Javier Gonzalez saying their findings “suggest that changing the timing of when you eat in relation to when you exercise can bring about profound and positive changes to your overall health.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2019/11/15/exercising-in-a-fasted-state.aspx
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