My Truths #153 (fasted workout)
Working out on an empty stomach is good for you once in a while. I asked my crossfit coach recently what he thought of fasted workout and he said Huh? “You know” I said, “working out on an empty stomach”. He said “Oh I wouldn’t recommend that. You should always eat something before your workout”. I didn’t argue with him or try to explain that there are a lot of supporters out there for this notion and a big body of evidence that indicates that working out in a fasted state can even be beneficial.
The biggest benefit to working out in a fasted state, I believe, is improved fat loss. This is especially true if you follow a low carb diet and your body is efficient at calling on your stored body fat for fuel. But the benefits don’t end at weight loss. According to Mark Sisson “Research clearly shows that fasted workouts on an empty stomach are better all around for weight loss, muscle growth, and metabolic health.”
I usually work out fasted on Saturday mornings. I still allow myself coffee with coconut oil before going to the gym. Technically this is not fasted but since it’s zero carb it doesn’t produce an insulin response so, in essence, it’s gives the same effect. I feel energized and strong and I can just picture my fat cells mobilizing to fuel my workout. I would highly recommend it!
That being said, there is evidence to support eating a light snack before exercising. Here’s one article which supports my coach’s advice…