Fasted or Fed: Should You Eat or Not Eat Before Exercising?

Fasted or Fed: Should You Eat or Not Eat Before Exercising?

Many people believe if they go for a jog in the morning on an empty stomach, it will yield better results compared to exercising with a little bit of food in the stomach. Well, the reality is, there is not difference between exercising with or without any food.

Here is the research backing that up. A study in 2014 (Schoenfeld et. al 2014) gathered twenty healthy young females into a fasted training group and a fed training group. Both groups are exposed to factors such as follows:

 Group FED/FASTED Food Consumption Exercise
Group FED Protein Shake* 1 hour of steady state cardio on treadmill, 3 times/week
Group FASTED Nothing for 12 hours, Protein Shakes after exercise

1 hour of steady state cardio on treadmill, 3 times/week

Protein Shake* = 250 calories, 40g carbohydrate, 20g protein, 0.5g fat

 

After four weeks, the results between the two group is minimal.

Chart of group fasted vs. fed

 Group FED/FASTED Change in BMO Change in Fat Free Mass (kg) Change in Waist (cm) Change in Body Fat %
FED -18% -5% -22% -8%
FASTED -20% -8% -24% -17%

 

So, what does this chart mean? It means the two groups reach similar results within the given parameters. Even though FASTED group has a better score, due to the inherent nature of statistics and the limitations of this experiment, it is nearly neglectable.

In conclusion, this paper, with the support of several related works have proven there is no significant difference in terms of fed and fasted steady state exercises. Both of which will burn approximately the same number of calories and yield the same results. However, there should be further and more extensive researches into this topic for a more accurate result.

Beware this paper merely recommends this result based on steady state exercises. Intensive exercise is a separate topic for another day. As a person choosing their method of exercise, it should be based on your personal preference and comfort.

 

Bibliography

Schoenfeld, B. J., Aragon, A. A., Wilborn, C. D., Krieger, J. W., & Sonmez, G. T. (2014). Body composition changes associated with fasted versus non-fasted aerobic exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition11(1), 1-7.