Eating before exercise

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  • 6 days a week in the mornings, I get up have a cup of coffee (Decaf, powdered milk and brown sugar) and walk a mile to my local swimming pool where I swim for about 90 mins. I never eat before I swim and was wondering if I was doing the right thing?. is it better for the body to eat before exercise or not?

    This is a hotly debated area. However I personally think you are fine as long as you eat within a few hours after swimming. I now prefer to workout fasted and I’m developing muscles much better than I did in the past.

    I used to swim a lot about 15 years ago. I think it would be difficult to swim very hard after eating. Just my two cents.

    I admire your dedication. I used to run every morning and there were days it was hard. I don’t eat breakfast and two or three times a week I now go to the gym in the morning. My understanding is that it is good to exercise before eating. Your overnight fast should have consumed most, possibly all, of your freely available energy, so the body will have to go to the fat stores for energy. The sugar in your coffee will provide an instant energy source which you will have to burn first.

    Monday and Tuesday will be a 2 day water only fast and I am still going to the gym on both days. If I do a three day water only fast I will start to have problems with energy levels in an endurance exercise.

    Thanks for that!😎

    Definitely going to give the 5:2 diet a go and try my best to cut the sweet things out. 😎

    It really does depend on the size of your meal and how quickly your body can digest it.

    If you went to a Buffett and ate for an 1 hour straight, then yes, you should definitely wait a couple hours before working out. But if you ate a small sandwich and a banana flavored muffin, then you’re fine,treat it as a normal workout.

    I believe that the type of exercise you are doing determines the best eating strategy. I always do HIIT on a spin bike fasted and I don’t eat for 24 hours afterwards. I want to deplete my glycogen stores and get into ketosis as quickly as possible. Although I’m working hard I don’t damage the muscle.

    When I lift weights I eat before and after to be sure I have plenty of protein for muscle repair.

    There was a documentary (it was one of the “Trust I’m a Doctor” series) where they initially tested a brother and sister – eating before or after exercise. Then they attached them to one of those face contraptions for several hours to test how much fat was burned by measuring expelled breath (which is how most body fat that you burn leaves the body). They found opposite results with the brother and sister so they tried the same thing on a larger group and got the same gender difference.
    The basic conclusion was that women burn more fat if they eat before exercise and men if they don’t, but eat soon afterward.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4glyLcrhgqQtPGQYM11l1YJ/the-big-experiment-how-can-i-get-my-body-to-burn-more-fat-without-doing-more-exercise

    LJoyce, interesting but discouraging. As so many studies show exercise is not a good way to burn fat for men or women.

    I usually exercise very regularly but fat loss is not the reason why. My #1 reason is to maintain and build muscle, we can maintain our youthful muscle with resistance training. #2 is cardiovascular health, and #3 is to epigenetically turn on beneficial genes.

    Any fat loss is so to speak “gravy”

    Fat loss is all about diet.

    I have just been to the gym to put into effect the “exercise before eating” theory. It was their first day open this year so the place was full of people I didn’t recognise wearing T shirts with motivational slogans. Most of them will have stopped coming by the end of the month. At this time of the year their numbers are a nuisance, it gets crowded, but I am grateful to them – they pay a year’s subscription for a few visits and thus subsidise my membership. I was reading yesterday that an American Gym franchise whose branches have space for 300 members recruit an average of 3500 per branch every January on a $10 per month fee in the knowledge that they won’t come, but the fee is so small that they will never cancel because they might come.

    Just by way of variety I had breakfast – rolled oats, banana , honey – before going to the gym. It didn’t seem to make any difference to my performance. Weight loss, too soon to say.

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