If we are going to perform a high-intensity exercise or for more than an hour, it is advisable to eat some food.
After the first days of the new year, many people are in the process of fulfilling the purposes that were set at the end of 2021. As is tradition, many citizens set certain goals to meet during the following year; In this way, as time progresses, we become an improved version of ourselves.
Among the most common objectives is learning or improving a language, acquiring or reinforcing good habits, such as reading, eating healthier, learning more about movies and music, or spending more time with our children.
Other purposes are more related to our physical state. Some intend to lose those extra ‘pounds’ that they have gained during the Christmas holidays; others, on the other hand, seek to gain muscle mass. Some seek to acquire a healthy habit with no greater pretense than staying in shape.
Some doubts arise once we have defined our goals and established a sports routine. One of the most repeated is usually when to perform physical activity. This is a very repeated dilemma and with different opinions. On the one hand, some defend the importance of eating food before practicing sports to acquire the nutrients to achieve greater performance. Others, however, advocate exercising before breakfast to promote weight loss.
Scientific studies support both opinions. However, experts recommend eating some food if we are going to perform a high-intensity physical activity or for more than an hour. On the other hand, it should be noted that the general theory that defends that if we train, fasting our body uses fat as the main fuel is not entirely true. People who train before breakfast may tend to get their energy from fat, but their fat intake is lower for the remaining 23 hours of the day. Therefore, it is not a determining factor when losing weight compared to training after eating food.
An hour of exercise is not enough
Many people who intend to achieve a physical change make the mistake of thinking that an hour of daily training is enough. They do not realize that the truly useful thing is to adapt our lifestyle. We must put the focus on everything we do in our day. And it is that to be active people, an hour of exercise in the morning is not enough, either before breakfast or after. Controlling the diet and carrying out other activities, such as going for a walk, walking in the mountains, practicing a sport with friends or other activities that allow us to move are essential.
Runaway from immediate results
The most important thing about leading a healthy life that allows us to get in shape is maintaining a routine for a long period. We must forget about the false expectations that usually sell us. Changes in a short time, if possible, are generally harmful to our body and short-lived. Therefore, it is advisable to maintain a healthy diet at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Professional athletes and elite athletes can find certain benefits in training before eating breakfast. People who are not professionally dedicated to sports, on the other hand, will not obtain great gains when it comes to losing weight or gaining performance. For this reason, each one should choose what is simpler or what is best adapted.
When to have breakfast
If we choose to practice sports once we have had breakfast, the intake must be about two hours before starting the physical activity. It is indeed something very complicated to achieve in our day-to-day life. Therefore, eating something easy to digest at least half an hour before exercising is recommended. A piece of fruit, such as a banana or yogurt that is not very fatty, can be a good option. After the exercise, we can have a complete breakfast with foods that help the body recover.
If, on the contrary, we have the necessary time to have breakfast in advance, we must prioritize carbohydrates. If our goal is to prepare for a marathon or a long-term event, a resolution that many set at the beginning of the year, it will be advisable to consume complex or slow-assimilation carbohydrates. In this way, the energy will last us throughout the training. Whole grains, brown rice, whole wheat bread, legumes, or vegetables are good options.
If our training is fast but very demanding, such as series or interval routines or HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) in the gym, rapid assimilation of carbohydrates will be the most suitable. Sugar, honey, white bread, or refined flour will give us a lot of energy to use in a short time.
A fundamental part of nutrition, which sometimes goes unnoticed, is hydration. It is an intangible factor not only for our health but also for our performance. Thus, to achieve adequate hydration, if we train in the morning, we have to drink the previous afternoon abundantly and take small sips before starting physical activity.