Running on an Empty Stomach...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 27, 2009 5:23 PM GMT
    There is conflicting information and theories regarding running on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning. Some say you may burn more fat reserves. Some say you risk low blood sugar, decreased stamina, and chance of burning muscle in the process.

    What is your opinion? What is your experience?



    Joe
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    Feb 27, 2009 5:51 PM GMT
    I usually run in mid afternoon to late evening. However, on the occasions where I have run first thing in the morning I felt really sluggish without anything in my stomach. Eating a banana about 20-30 minutes before a run works for me.
  • FrontRowIn

    Posts: 133

    Feb 27, 2009 6:33 PM GMT
    Really don't like to eat anything for about an hour before my run. If I run first thing in the morning I don't eat beforehand.

    If I do eat before my run, a little of it tries to come back up.
  • healthseeker

    Posts: 161

    Feb 27, 2009 6:52 PM GMT
    I used to do short runs in the morning after only a cup of coffee with a lot of skim milk which worked well for me. I never ran more than 30 - 45 minutes though, anything longer and I would have needed more fuel.
    I was eating very well and excercising a lot at the time but the morning runs did seem to help me get lean more quickly.
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    Feb 27, 2009 6:55 PM GMT
    I've heard the same, but I'm skeptical as to whether my results from running in the morning are attributed to that theory, or are more about the diligence of waking up early and structuring cardio into a specific time slot in your routine. It seems easier (for me) to blow off cardio at the end of the day when you are a bit worn out compared to first thing in the morning. *shrug*
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    Feb 27, 2009 7:26 PM GMT
    i personally cant run with a lot of food on my stomach because i as well start to feel it come back up.

    i aways eat a banana with peanut butter for guick energy that last and isnt to heavy on my stomach

  • Run4Life83

    Posts: 207

    Feb 27, 2009 9:28 PM GMT
    I usually eat a banana on my way out the door. I've heard that eating within 15 minutes of waking up jumpstarts your metabolism, but with it being 1inter, it sometimes takes 15 minutes to get all my gear on to go on the run. I usually go for about an hour to an hour and a half in the morning and the banana holds me over well.
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    Feb 27, 2009 9:42 PM GMT
    For me, if it's a short run....say 2 miles....I'll skip eating.
    But I like to have a protein shake ready on return.

    I don't do long runs, but for a long bike ride I need to be pre-fueled or I'll bonk out there.
  • treader

    Posts: 238

    Feb 27, 2009 9:57 PM GMT

    I switched all my running to the morning since I can't run after work during the winter up here. (Too dark and icy.) So, I break my breakfast into two parts: one before then the other after with a protein shake. (Such as: banana and cereal before then half a bagel and shake after.)

    Shesh, I hope that running in the morning doesn't burn more calories. I need all the calaries that I can get! icon_wink.gif

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 27, 2009 10:33 PM GMT
    I recently took a sports nutrition class that basically stated that eating something with a low glycemic index and perhaps a small amount of fat will increase the amount that you burn over all. Now this is not to be confused with you much you burn that is already stored in you body. You will end up using some of the calories you had eaten, but slightly effected insulin levels and other precursors you will also boost the over all amount. Basically, for performance and ehancing your ability to run, eating a small amount food about 30 minutes prior to cardiovascular training is a good thing. For weightloss though my professor was kind of vague. Definately don't eat anything more than a piece of fruit or a powerbar though before any running.
  • somedaytoo

    Posts: 704

    Feb 27, 2009 10:45 PM GMT
    A 15 minute run before breakfast helped me slim down. I'd say it works.
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    Feb 27, 2009 10:54 PM GMT
    Thanks for the replies so far... This morning I tested the theory of running on "empty".

    I did HIIT on the treadmill, bike, and stairs for 60 minutes-on an empty stomach! After 30 minutes I felt like I was starving. But, I pushed myself for another 30 minutes and afterwards I felt energized! The hunger pangs seemingly went away.

    After running I stretched out really good for 30 minutes. I ate a banana and some peanut butter after the stretching. Lastly, I relaxed in the hot tub and dry sauna for 20 minutes total.

    After the gym I went home to have a breast of chicken with brown rice and a half glass of milk.

    Now... I FEEL GREAT.


    Joe
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    Feb 27, 2009 11:19 PM GMT
    I've heard the theory about running on an empty stomach first thing in the morning so that you're tapping more into fat for energy. I don't know if I buy it. Seems to make sense but I really think that at the end of the day it all boils down to how many calories you burned for that day vs. how many calories you consumed for that day. I don't think when you burn the calories or when you consume the calories matter all that much. In relation to that, I've never fully believed that the food you consume later in the day is more like to be stored as fat. Look at Europeans such as the Spaniards who eat their biggest meal of the day around 10pm(sometimes later) and are very thin people as a whole.


    Anyway, I've always wanted to try it but I have to eat as soon as I wake up or I get nauseated. I've always been that way. I couldn't imagine exercising on an empty stomach.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Feb 28, 2009 3:48 AM GMT
    My personal experience:

    Running less than an hour after I've eaten leads to a strong probability of nausea, which has yet to result in actually vomiting but has resulted in dry heaves a few times.

    Running more than 4 hours since I've eaten leads to a crash in blood sugar, with the accompanying clammy sweat, dimmed vision, echoing sounds, dizziness and light-headedness.

    There's a sweet spot in the middle where I'm neither going to pass out nor throw up. I aim for that.
  • squints9

    Posts: 3

    Mar 04, 2009 8:44 PM GMT
    I have had experiences with running long distances after eating and not eating I have found that if I eat before running I don't do as well as I do on an empty stomach. you will have to try it different way to find what works for you.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14303

    Mar 04, 2009 11:38 PM GMT
    If I run in the morning, I usually have a cup of coffee with skim milk just to help give me a kick to get going. I usually avoid putting a lot of food in my stomach before a run. I find that having a filled stomach before going on a run sapps you of needed energy to successfully finish the practice run regardless of distance.
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    Mar 04, 2009 11:40 PM GMT
    I prefer to have something light about an hour before any run. Even when I run in the morning I will choke some food down at least thirty minutes before going out. If I don't I tend to loose energy after about 30-45 minutes. Most days, I run in the early afternoon... so I have been eating all day.
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    Mar 07, 2009 3:59 AM GMT
    If I eat in the morning it has to be at least an hour before I run.
    Otherwise the running seems to stir up gas in my stomach and I can feel gas/food pushing up in the top of my gut. Not pleasant. icon_redface.gif

    As well, it has to be high in carbs. Something like a small bowl of Kashi GoLean Crunch or Vector.

    Bill
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    Mar 07, 2009 4:35 AM GMT
    personal experience:

    eating quarter cup of dry oats and a (small) handful of almonds 15 to 30 minutes before a run. this negates any crashes during a run up to 10 miles. interestingly enough, ive found from personal experience (empirically) that the time of day made a difference. my circadian rhythm syncs with the normal awake-during-day and sleep-at-night schedule. if i run early morning (6am), would i cut body fat faster (measured and recorded by caliper daily) and would sleep better at night as opposed to running in the evening. if im not mistaken, there are a few clinical studies that suggest the same thing.
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    Mar 07, 2009 4:38 AM GMT
    http://outside.away.com/outside/bodywork/carmichael-20060119.html
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Mar 07, 2009 4:49 AM GMT
    Just anecdotally...I usually eat something small [toast, banana, or yogurt] before I run and then about 30 minutes after I have my regular meal...I get nauseaus if I don't have something in my stomach and then run hard for 5 miles...

    - David icon_wink.gif
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    Mar 07, 2009 5:11 AM GMT
    tee_bone saidpersonal experience:

    eating quarter cup of dry oats and a (small) handful of almonds 15 to 30 minutes before a run. this negates any crashes during a run up to 10 miles. interestingly enough, ive found from personal experience (empirically) that the time of day made a difference. my circadian rhythm syncs with the normal awake-during-day and sleep-at-night schedule. if i run early morning (6am), would i cut body fat faster (measured and recorded by caliper daily) and would sleep better at night as opposed to running in the evening. if im not mistaken, there are a few clinical studies that suggest the same thing.



    hey nerd... sup ;)
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    Mar 07, 2009 5:22 AM GMT
    If you are going to run more than an hour, then you should definitely eat something because you're going to burn up your glycogen stores and your metabolism is going to slow down + your feet are going to slow down as well. It's not like once you burn through your glycogen you are going to burn pure fat, maybe that's what some stupid jock would think hahaha...this guy was raving to me about running on an empty stomach the other day and how it burns more fat. Your body doesn't work like that! You will just gain all the weight right back as soon as you put something in your mouth.

    For me, it's a banana or a few frosted mini-wheats (the whole wheat ones...that's the closest I get to a treat lately)! If you are going to puke after eating that, then maybe you should find some different cardio for the morning!
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    Mar 07, 2009 1:45 PM GMT
    scottycdn said
    tee_bone saidpersonal experience:

    eating quarter cup of dry oats and a (small) handful of almonds 15 to 30 minutes before a run. this negates any crashes during a run up to 10 miles. interestingly enough, ive found from personal experience (empirically) that the time of day made a difference. my circadian rhythm syncs with the normal awake-during-day and sleep-at-night schedule. if i run early morning (6am), would i cut body fat faster (measured and recorded by caliper daily) and would sleep better at night as opposed to running in the evening. if im not mistaken, there are a few clinical studies that suggest the same thing.



    hey nerd... sup ;)




    hey youre the one thats Canerdian? icon_smile.gif quit dissin on my posts ya bastard. we never talk anymore man! icon_cry.gif hit me up!
  • adidas0783

    Posts: 290

    May 30, 2009 3:51 AM GMT
    I am getting into a routine where I go twice a week before work when the gym opens at 5am...since I have to be at work by 7am.

    I will usually get up at 4:15am, hydrate and have a banana with peanut butter. To make sure I do not have a hypoglycemic crash. Head to the gym and do 30 min of cardio (I can usually do 4 miles on the treadmill).

    It does give me sustained energy throughout the day at work and I have improved quality of sleep at night. icon_biggrin.gif