A recent study by researchers at the University of Bath and the University of Birmingham reveals what's better: having breakfast before or after a morning workout? Although there is no fixed rule that is preferable, the study has shown that pre-breakfast training can dramatically reduce the likelihood of developing two common and serious illnesses.
People who sleep regularly fast overnight, which means they spend several hours or more between their last meal of the previous day and their first meal of the day. During this time, the blood sugar level drops, which leads to a lowering of the hormone insulin, which regulates the blood sugar.
Working out before breakfast means that the activity takes place at a lower insulin level, which is good according to the study: this resulted in a doubling of the burned body fat compared to people exercising after breakfast. This resulted in no difference in weight loss, but had some other notable effects.
Based on the six-week study, the researchers found that pre-breakfast physical training dramatically improved the body's ability to control blood sugar levels due to increased insulin sensitivity. By improving glycemic control, the team notes that pre-breakfast training can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
The profound improvement in health was observed, although both groups of participants had the same degree of weight loss and fitness gain. The study, which this time only involved men, lasted six weeks, indicating that training before the first meal of the day can provide ample benefits despite the zero change in effort required.