Is it ok to workout on an empty stomach?
When highly talented and motivated athletes compete in competition, the difference between success and defeat can be marginal. Attention to diet can make a vital difference. Nutrition and hydration affects performance, and our eating and drinking patterns can influence how we perform and the results we achieve. Good food choices can promote adaptions to training and limit the risk of illness and injury.
It is common practice for bodybuilders to perform cardio exercises on an empty stomach. This strategy is frequently followed by many top athletes and fitness professionals who are striving for weight loss. The rationale behind this theory is that ‘fasted’ morning cardio workouts help the body to use fat rather than carbohydrates for fuel. Although this method might seem to have its perks, the downsides greatly outweigh the benefits. Fasted workouts often result in early fatigue, lack of motivation and increased muscle (protein) breakdown.
The purpose of a pre-training meal is to top up energy and provide hydration. Research shows that a carbohydrate rich meal (e.g. oats, sandwich or pasta dish) 2-4 hours before you start training gives you the largest development boost.
However, all athletes are unique and one size does not fit all. Personal requirements for energy and nutrients will depend on body size, physique, training load and goal. Individual tolerance and competition schedule dictate the ideal timing for pre-event meals. Early morning training and competitions often doesn’t allow for a meal in the suggested timeframe and some athletes respond negatively when carbs are consumed too close to exercise.
Musashi Pre-Workout can be very useful for early morning sessions, when energy is required but time doesn’t allow or food can’t be stomached. Take Musashi Pre-Workout 30-minutes before intense exercise, it helps to promote blood flow to the muscles, energy production and prevent muscle tissue breakdown and fatigue.
A good hydration strategy is also essential for every athlete in training and competition. Even athletes with perfect drinking practices have difficulties keeping fully hydrated. A key strategy to minimise the effects of dehydration is to correct any fluid deficit before starting exercise. Electrolytes control the fluid balance in our body and are important for the contraction of muscle and nerve impulses along with energy generation.
Musashi Electrolyte is a unique low sugar powder containing a blend of key minerals and the amino acid glutamine. It provides a refreshing drink designed to be consumed during training to maintain electrolyte balance and support optimal performance.
Top tips to help you remain hydrated and reduce the chances of dehydration
- Timing of fluid intake – start sipping Musashi Electrolyte early during exercise. Little and often is likely to be better tolerated than large amounts at one time.
- Fluid type – large amounts of concentrated carbohydrate drinks may cause stomach discomfort or cramping. Musashi Electrolyte contains low levels of carbohydrates helping to provide just the necessary minerals required to assist with hydration.
- Most athletes can tolerate between 300-400ml of fluid immediately before exercise and then consume small, frequent amounts of fluid during exercise. Water is suitable for adequate hydration on non-training days but Musashi Electrolyte is important to meet your hydrations needs before longer events or multiple training sessions in a day.
From a performance perspective, there are multiple reasons to eat before working out. It is important to choose the foods you consume based on personal preference, availability and gastrointestinal comfort. Always try out a new nutritional strategy during training rather than on competition day. And while water is suitable for adequate hydration on non-training days, Musashi Electrolyte helps to control fluid balance in the body, important for the contraction of muscles, nerve impulses and energy generation.