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  • Writer's pictureJohn Carrico

To Breakfast Or Not To Breakfast...

Should you eat breakfast before or after a morning run?

You wake up feeling motivated to get outside for a morning run- GREAT! Or maybe you have decided to try my Friday morning running class at NW Fitness- EVEN BETTER! Now the question is, “should I eat breakfast before or after the run?”

The answer to that question is totally dependent on the individual. Some people feel like they need a little fuel to power through the workout, which is totally fine. Other people find that having something in their stomach while exercising makes them feel sick, so they wait to eat until after their workout. That is also more than fine!

Turns out, there is no right answer. Researchers are conducting studies, but there are so many variant factors that they aren’t even sure what the correct answer is. Let’s dive into a few studies, though.

According to Dr. Javier Gonzalez, a lecturer and assistant professor in human physiology at Bath University in the UK, exercising before breakfast increases our reliance on fat as a fuel, so we burn more fat and less carbs during the workout. One of his studies, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, found that participants who exercised before breakfast burned twice as much fat as those who exercised after eating the same meal. So if you’re looking to burn more fat, then try exercising before eating in the morning.

We also know that is that it is important to replenish glycogen stores AFTER workouts. Preferably some sort of fast absorbing carbohydrates and protein within 90 minutes of the workout. This will help with muscle recovery and is crucial for muscle repair.

If you’re in a rush in the morning and don't have time to sit down to eat a proper balanced breakfast, then plan ahead. Grab a protein bar on your way out the door or prep a protein smoothie the night before. Even if you aren't hungry, still make the effort to refuel your body because (like I said) post-workout nutrition is crucial.

So to answer the question of which is better, eating breakfast before or after your morning run? It’s totally up to you. Try both and then see how you feel to determine what works best for you.

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