Friday, February 15, 2013

No Fuel, No Burn

About to tackle a workout at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

  We're tackling two workout myths today.

  One: There is no right time to workout.

  Whenever you can fit it in, is the right time.

Early Bird or Night Owl?
  There is, however, an ideal time to exercise. No, it's not a magic hour where you get a better workout, or see better results. It's actually just common sense: try to schedule your workout for roughly the same time every day.

  As with many things, our bodies adapt, they get conditioned. They get used to the exercise day after day, and will start releasing endorphins and hormones at that time, workout or not. It's during these times, you might see peak performances. So if you can, hit the gym at the same time each time you exercise.

  I've even noticed that with myself. I always find myself fitting in my workout at roughly the same time day after day. For a long time, I just thought it was my need for a routine. But boom, when the clock hits 11:30am, I feel I need to get moving.

  I've never been much of a morning person, and definitely have never been fond of morning workouts (I think I had one-too-many of those in my college days). If I have to (as in, there's no other time during the day), I will. But I don't really think I'm at my best during those early morning workouts. To go along with this thought however, maybe if I did it on a consistent basis, I would feel differently.

  Don't worry night owls, people who workout before 7am don't necessarily get bonus points, or any extra burn for their workouts.

  Whatever your magic hour is, try to keep it consistent. And of course, something is better than nothing! So do what your schedule allows, and get it done!

Red Rocks Boot Camp: I'm betting these people had breakfast!
Empty Stomach Workout?
  Two: exercising on an empty stomach is not beneficial. It does not lead to burning more fat.

  People who regularly practice this, rationalize it by saying, our bodies will move directly into burning fat for fuel since there's no blood sugar available. So naturally, we will end up burning more fat.

  In fact, not eating before a workout, or not having sufficient fuel in your body before you workout, often times leads to a less-intense session.

  Since your body doesn't have the necessary fuel, you're weak during your workout. And with a weaker, energy-deficient body, your workout might lack intensity and power. And a during a less-intense workout, you won't burn as many calories, both during your workout, AND after your workout (after-burn, or EPOC -- Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).

  So ultimately, your calorie burn is less.

  Also, your body burns a percentage of sugar and fat no matter what. So, if your body has NO blood sugar available, it will turn to muscle for fuel, and burn muscle tissue. Essentially cannibalizing your muscle, and that's not good! Keep in mind, our bodies can't convert fat into sugar.

  Long story, short: make sure your body is fueled with, at least, a decent snack before working out!

  Hope these two bits of information help! Have a great weekend!

Exercise on an Empty Stomach 
Jillian Michaels Podcast 12/28/2012


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