Exercise on empty stomach for better results: Study

Well if you are the one who likes to fuel on pre-workouts or small meals before an exercise session, you might have to give it second thoughts now, especially if your core motive is weight loss.

According to a new research by the University of Bath in the UK, exercising on empty stomach can help burn more body fat and further increase your metabolism. Researchers at the University studied a group of overweight males for this study. The volunteers were made to walk for 1 hour at 60% maximum oxygen consumption on an empty stomach, and later they were made to walk for 2 hours after consuming a high-calorie carbohydrate-rich meal.

The team took multiple blood samples from volunteers after eating or fasting and post exercising. They also collected adipose tissue samples immediately before and one hour after walking. Gene expression in the adipose tissue was slightly different in the two trials, researchers said. They found that the expression of two genes, PDK4 and HSL, increased when the men fasted and exercised, and decreased when they ate before exercising. The rise in PDK4 indicates that stored fat was used to fuel metabolism during exercise instead of carbohydrates from the recent meal. HSL typically increases when adipose tissue uses stored energy to support increased activity, such as during exercise. After having a meal the adipose tissues are busy responding to the meal and a bout of exercise at this time will not stimulate the same beneficial changes in adipose tissue.

This means that exercising on an empty stomach may provoke favourable changes in adipose tissue and this could be beneficial for health in the long term. The study was published in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism.

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