Running On An Empty Stomach: Good Or Bad?

Cet article est également disponible en : French

If you like to jump out of bed and run first thing in the morning, this article might catch your attention. Whether you are on a business trip, on holiday, or running before work, it is often tempting to run on an empty stomach. But experts are arguing whether this is a good idea or not. So, what are the benefits of running on an empty stomach? Are there any risks? If so, how can you avoid them? Runnin’City is here to help…

Running on an empty stomach presents some advantages. You will definitely feel lighter during your run, and will have the satisfaction of beginning your day having already ticked the “do exercise” check box. But the main advantage of running on an empty stomach (which is often the one that motivates people to do so) is weight loss. Of course, when you run before your first meal, your body draws very quickly on its own resources (your body fat), thus leading to weight loss.

But be careful! There are some rules you should be aware of. If you want to run first thing in the morning, make sure you adapt your speed and don’t run too fast. An indicator of a good running pace is if you are able to converse with someone. You should be able to describe your favourite TV show’s latest episode, or talk about your latest Smart Run experience. Why? Well, because running at a moderate pace means you will use up body fat more efficiently.

To understand this phenomenon, you should have this in mind: the first 30 minutes of cardio exercise, your body will consume the carbohydrates available in your blood. It is only once these resources are partly burnt out that your body will start using what’s stored in your muscles. When you wake up in the morning, your blood glucose levels are low. Very quickly, your body will look for other resources and find the fat stored in your body. But if you are running too fast, you will be asking your body for too much energy when it doesn’t have enough glucose to offer, meaning you will get tired, and even risk hypoglaecemia.

Another important thing to take into consideration is that your run should not be too long when exercising on an empty stomach. Sessions of 45 minutes are quite enough if you want to lose weight, so choose our 5 kilometre Smart Runs (and never exceed 7 kilometres).

If you are thinking of running on an empty stomach, don’t forget to ask your doctor first. The activity is hard on your body, and you should be careful not to overdo it.

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