Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Hey Fun and Fit: I recently started exercising for thirty minutes in the morning (after a thirty year layoff). My previous morning routine revolved around eating and coffee. I’m loathe to give them up. Is it better to exercise first, on an empty stomach, or does it really matter? Mike, Santa Ynez, CA
Kymberly:Thirty minutes of exercise times thirty years of a hiatus equals = eat breakfast! Yes, eating relative to exercise really matters. Breaking a fast also matters. Science says many things (So does my sister. Have you heard our radio show?): “eat first so you have energy to maintain intensity;” “eat at least 4 hours’ prior to exercise,” which means getting up at an hour known only to nocturnal animals, graveyard shift workers, and vampires (the “real” ones as in “Twilight”, not the fake ones elsewhere); “eat after working out when your metabolism is revved up and digests food better.” What’s a person to do? Call FunandFitBusters (well, we are not busters per se, but sisters).
What it comes down to is what works best for your body? Do you feel more energized and ready to work out when you have some brekkie in you or do you feel weighed down and lethargic if you eat first? Who cares what statistics and general averages say when your body is having a different conversation. For me, I have to eat first or I drag and feel lightheaded. For you, it sounds as though you should keep up the (ahem, healthy) eating then attack the day in a fitnessy way.
Alexandra: I was laughing because when I first read your question I thought you were asking if we thought you should give up eating! Hahahaha. No. Just give up eating fake food. Anything covered in sprinkles or glaze is probably fake food! To cheer you up, here is a post we did that gives you some food suggestions.
K: More good news– you do not even have to give up wake-up coffee as it has beneficial properties. You might have to give up your record of 30 years’ avoiding gasp! exercise. But then you might also give up the extra weight and health risks. Woo hoo!