Should I eat before my morning ride or workout?

Should I eat before my morning ride or workout?

This largely depends on your goals as an athlete and as a person.  There are benefits to riding and working out in a fasted state.  But there are also some major drawbacks so let's dive into the science and research to find out what's best for you. 

First, let's explore why anyone would want to get up in the morning while they're hungry and head to the bike or the gym and start putting in work. 

First exercising in a fasted state can be very beneficial for weight loss but this is not a weight loss video so I’m not going to dive into the science behind that. 

Secondly - riding or working out in a fasted State can actually improve your fat adaption. Which can be beneficial for certain sports and certain intensity levels. 

Fat is actually a great energy source for your body. But how well your body uses fat depends on how well trained your body is to burn fat for energy which is your (fat adaption). 

Typically most people utilize fat for energy at exercise intensities between 45 and 65% VO2max. But a study looked at  1121 athletes in various disciplines (American Football,  triathlon, golf, soccer, motorsports, cross county, and water sports amongst others) and found MFO ranged from 23 to  89%VO2max [39].

So depending on how your body is trained depends on when your body will stop burning fat and begin to burn carbohydrates for energy. When you start exercising your body will initially burn fat. And then as exercise intensity increases carbohydrates start to contribute to the energy source and fat oxidation decreases. 

Now - what’s the benefit of using fat for energy?

If you maximize your body's ability to burn fat for energy your body literally has the potential for unlimited energy. Even for the  leanest of athletes, the human body has nearly an endless supply of energy. 

Now - on the other hand as you may know, typically your body  uses glucose as your primary energy source during exercise.  Your body has some glucose in the blood at all times, plus  glucose is stored in your liver and muscles in the form of  glycogen for later use. 

But, here's the issue - your body can only store so much glycogen in your muscles and liver. During Long training days  or endurance events you can deplete your glycogen stores and  you become exhausted and fatigued. 

To help keep our athletes energized throughout the day we use  Hydration Sauce and Carb Sauce. Both of these are designed to  help quickly replenish glycogen so your body doesn’t crash.

Now - the better your body is at burning fat for energy The more  you can save your glycogen stores and the longer you can  ultimately work out or exercise. Without having to eat or utilize  something like Carb Sauce or Hydration Sauce. 

There are a number of different things that directly affect your  body's ability to burn fat like training as well as the type of food  you eat. But that is for an entirely different video.

Hydration Sauce

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Carb Sauce

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Now - back to the question of should I eat before my morning ride or work out?

Here's a few simple questions to ask yourself on whether you  should eat or not. 

Am I doing low heart rate base training to improve my fat  adaption? 

If the answer is yes - you can skip the meal and head to the gym  or out on the bike. But remember if you're trying to improve  your body’s ability to burn fat… keep the workout intensity  lower, otherwise your body will begin to burn carbohydrates,  you’ll ultimately deplete your glycogen stores and quickly  become fatigued. 

Next question... 

Do I plan on putting out more effort than 65% VO2 max? If yes,  you should eat before your morning ride or workout.

Last question... 

If you want to have maximum energy for high-intensity  workouts then yes you should eat before your morning ride or  workout. 

If you want an easy way to make sure your glycogen stores are  full before you ride or workout and an easy way to restore lost  glycogen during exercise so your body can perform at peak…  check out Hydration Sauce and Carb Sauce. 

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