Good Question: Should We Eat Before Or After Working Out?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Working out means working up an appetite.  Our bodies burn calories as we get into shape.

Some think eating right before exercising is key. For others, waiting until after seems more beneficial.

So, when should you eat when you work out? Good Question.

At Alchemy 365 in Edina, burpees and pull-ups are on the breakfast menu.

“Most days I’m here at 6 a.m. so it’s by habit that you don’t eat before that usually,” said one member.

A new study by English researchers agrees. They looked at men who skipped breakfast before working out one day, and then ate before their workout another day. When they exercised on an empty stomach, the men burned more fat and more calories.

The research also showed the genes that help control weight were far more active.

“If you were going to run a marathon, we’d never tell you to go do it on an empty stomach,” said Karin Norby.

Norby is the general manager at Alchemy in Edina. She said this really boils down to what you eat and what kind of workout you’re up against.

“If you are going to do a 40 minute A-10 class at Alchemy, you’d probably be safe to go to class, hit it hard and get your breakfast after,” said Norby.

But if you’re someone who can’t stomach the thought of not eating before you exercise, Norby said be careful, you need the right fuel. Guilty pleasures like pizza and ice cream are obviously not recommended.

“We always tell people if you can wake up in the morning, have a bowl of oatmeal or have some eggs, have an avocado, have bacon, and you feel ready to hit your workout, hit your workout,” said Norby.

For Norby, what happens post-workout is more important than pre-workout. She said replenishing muscles is key to maintaining a healthy body.

“So 30 minutes after you work out your muscles are depleted, you’re hungry, you’re starving, you need some fuel. That’s when you want people to get really good proteins, fats, greens, eggs, chicken breasts. That’s where we think the magic happens,” said Norby.

Norby said before a workout or run, trainers stress eating healthy carbs over unprocessed carbs like pizza and pasta. She said some healthy carbs you may not think about are sweet potatoes and squash.

More from John Lauritsen
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