Should I Hit the Gym Hungry?
Find out if you need to fuel up or skip the grub before you sweat

April 27, 2016

Reader question: Guys at gym say they work out on an empty stomach. Is this the right way to do things?

Ditching food before the gym may not help you ditch your belly. Doing cardio workouts on an empty stomach won’t help you lose weight any faster than training on a full stomach, according to research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports.

Study participants were split into two groups. Both groups ran on a treadmill for 60 minutes, three days a week. One group downed a meal-replacement shake before each workout, while the other group completed them without food. And after four weeks, both groups lost the same amount of weight.
“There’s a belief that when you exercise on an empty stomach, your body burns fat for fuel instead of the food you’ve just ingested,” explains lead researcher Brad Schoenfeld, Ph.D. “But there’s no evidence to support that fasted cardio has any benefit for fat loss.”

Since an empty stomach won’t help you burn extra body fat, and you hate working out hungry, eat before you hit the gym, he says. Just make sure you fuel up with the right food.