Running on an empty stomach? Can you do it effectively and safely? Many runners, athletes, and many other people often ask a question about running with an empty stomach or running after a meal.
Because of the meal and the food predict your performance and your overall body conditions. So, it is very important to know what to do before running. Knowing the right things can boost you and enhance your performance.
Running on an empty stomach means running after 6 or 8 hours after consuming your last meal. It usually happens in the morning. I will show you what you should do, what you should eat and how should you act while you run with an empty stomach.
There are many opinions regarding running on an empty stomach that many people think is beneficial because food doesn’t disturb during the running and others think that there is not any energy left for the running. Both of these opinions are considerable.
Running on an empty stomach has many pros and cons. So I will show you all the gains and losses.
Saves your stomach from an imbalance
Some people don’t like food sloshing in their stomachs. Running with an empty stomach saves your stomach from many problems like constipation and diarrhea. It helps you to run for a longer period and doesn’t disturb you. But an empty stomach from many hours can lead to the condition of dehydration.
So you have to take care of the food you eat that it shouldn’t be so much sugary and cheesy that it harms your health and disturbs you during your running. Avoid taking any food enriched in fats and acids. It is okay to run on a low intensity with an empty stomach.
Running with an empty stomach may improve your performance in a way that the energy consumption during the running is regulated. As you start your running, the carbohydrates burn in a better way. After that, fats burn. In this way, your body gets rid of all the toxic and useless substances from your body.
It will be easy for you to run or work out if you don’t feel any burden on your stomach and you will feel light. You can run for a longer period if you don’t take any heavy meals before a run.
Running on an empty stomach can help you to lose your weight but only if you take care of your diet. When you run, the first thing burn by your body to get the energy is the carbohydrates and after that, the fats burn. In this way, you get rid of all the fats and sugars you have extra in your body.
But, you can also gain weight if you overeat after running with an empty stomach. The solution is you can take fibers, drink water, and take a protein shake after your run. These things will help you to feel satisfied and you will not be hungry anymore.
Do you struggle with eating junk food? You may wanna check this article.
Running with an empty stomach may increase your endurance because it has the following benefits:
- Due to the burning of fats, your body’s fat metabolism and balance get better.
- The people who run with an empty stomach are more likely to have more stamina as the glycogen is completely broken down in their bodies.
- The runners with an empty stomach can heel their muscles better and they can also make their muscles stronger with a limited supply of nutrients.
Optimization of hormones
Running on an empty stomach optimizes many hormones and these give you benefits in many ways. Your body becomes strong and balanced. The following hormones are optimized and are beneficial for you.
- Insulin: The food you eat has carbohydrates and many sugars in it. The role insulin plays that it converts this sugar and sends it to the cells, organs, and tissues, where the energy is utilized. When you run with an empty stomach, the level of insulin increases and it speeds up in working. It converts all the food into energy in a better way. In this way, the risks of getting any diabetes, cardiac diseases, and kidney disorders become less.
- Growth hormone: The growth hormone is very essential and plays role in the muscle development, proper sleep, muscle and tissue strength, etc. running on an empty stomach helps this hormone to trigger its role and it can be seen in many athletes and runners. They have a better body and better muscle power. Running on an empty stomach can increase 2000 % more growth hormone in a male and 1500 % in a female. It also helps in making new body muscles and burns the extra body fats.
- Testosterone: It is the hormone that has a role in burning fats, weight loss, and sexual activities. One way to trigger the role of testosterone is through running on an empty stomach. It also combats against depressions, stress, and cardiac problems. Nothing can trigger the role of these hormones except running.
It also has many cons which are the following:
When you run on an empty stomach, first of all, your body utilizes all the carbohydrates and converts them into energy. After that, it burns all the fats in your body, and in this way you get rid of all the fat.
When the carbohydrates and fats are depleted, the body breaks down the proteins, particularly the amino acids. In this way, the protein which is present in your liver and muscles starts breaking down and you will lose your muscles. So this should be considered when you run with an empty stomach.
The solution to this con is that take a protein shake with you, or just drink a protein shake before you start your run. It will give you and your muscles a boost.
Can make your workouts hard
Running with an empty stomach can make your high-intensity workouts hard because it will utilize all your energy and for any high-intensity workout, there will be nothing left. It also acts like when you utilize all your energy, it will cause muscle fatigue and you will not be able to work out on high intensity.
Stores the fats
It has been shown that when you run on an empty stomach, your body breaks down all the fats, carbs, and proteins. When you end your run, you feel so hungry and you eat a lot. It stores all the fats in your body which can cause many serious problems. So it is very important not to eat that much after you end your run because it can be very dangerous.
After your running, you will try to eat all the calories available and it can also promote your weight gain. As I have mentioned earlier, that you have to control yourself if you want to lose your weight through running with an empty stomach.
Food energy or body energy?
Running with an empty stomach makes you think that ”from where this energy comes?”. When you eat a meal before a run, that meal provides you with all the nutrients and energy you need. So while running, your body utilizes that energy.
On the other hand, when you are running with an empty stomach and you haven’t taken any meal. The body needs energy which will be derived from your muscles and your body reserved energy.
What should you eat before a run?
If you are looking to eat something that gives you an instant boost and proper nutrition that is required for your run then you have to read all these points. Following is the list of the food items you can take and their uses for you.
Glucose, that is a carbohydrate, is the primary fuel of the body that is broken down and energy is released. Listening to the name of carbohydrates, many people eat a lot of carbohydrates and heavy sugars but it is wrong. It is harmful to you and will make you obese.
Eating the food items which have low amounts of carbohydrates are best for you. For this, you can eat whole grains which are low in fats and cholesterol. Try eating whole grains instead of white grains because these are easy to digest and provide you with healthy energy. Other food items are as follows:
- Green leafy vegetables
Too many fats are harmful but you cannot deny their importance because they burn and release energy after the carbohydrates are depleted. Fats are also very important in maintaining the body membranes structures.
These are used in the body’s emergency. So, to prevent the complete loss or calories from your body, you have to take some fats in your diet too. These should be free from all the saturated fatty acids and cholesterols.
Following is the list of the food from which you can get some healthy fats.
- Chia seeds
If you want to save yourself from muscle cramp or muscle fatigue, then protein is a must. It is also a factor that helps you in the emergency because the body utilizes some proteins as the energy source when carbohydrates and fats are depleted. Protein is also very important for muscle building and speeding up your work out.
Your diet should be low in carbohydrates and fats but rich in proteins. You can then think about running on an empty stomach because your body would have something to break and it will provide you energy.
You can get enough amounts of proteins from the following list:
The most important element that makes up your body is water. Always make sure that you are hydrated before a run. Dehydration can cause you serious problems like constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, and lack of energy.
Water is the main body solvent and all the food breaks down and converted into energy with the help of water molecules. So, you have to drink water when you wake up or before 1 hour of your run.
You should also drink water between your run when you take some rest if you are going to run more than 30 minutes.
There are two questions. The first one is ”When should you run?” and the other one is ”When you should eat before a run?” I will show you the answers.
There are two timings when people prefer running, in the morning and in the evening. If you have a bit of weight on you and prefer to run in the morning, you can go running with an empty stomach. After you come back from your run, eat a food high in proteins, and move on with your day.
If you wanna run just for performance, make sure to eat some great carbohydrates so you can have more energy throughout the day. After you take some food, wait 30 minutes then go for your run.
In short, when you feel hungry, know that this is the time for running. Running at the right time and taking a meal at the right time will help you to stabilize your body’s glucose level.
Weight Loss Program
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Conclusion: Running on an empty stomach
Running on an empty stomach can be beneficial for you if you follow all the precautionary measures and follow the diet. Do not feel a burden on yourself just do that is suitable for you.
If you are determined, then all you need is a direction and some awareness. Follow these points for better results.
- Eat or drink something like a protein shake or nuts that can give you instant energy to repair your muscles and tissues.
- Drink water because you are going to burn all the fats and carbohydrates which need water.
- Do not eat something heavy before a run because it will hurt your stomach.
- Run 40 to 60 minutes a day according to your tolerance and before proteins start breaking down or when you feel any muscular pain.