Is It Better to Do a Workout Before Breakfast?

If you’re wondering whether it’s better to do a workout before breakfast or after, you’re not alone. There’s no definitive answer, but there are some things to keep in mind that may help you make the best decision for you.


Working out before breakfast can be beneficial for people looking to achieve their health and fitness goals. While everyone is different, the general consensus holds that exercise should be done on an empty stomach in order to take full advantage of its health benefits. This article will discuss pros and cons of doing a workout before breakfast, as well as what type of workout someone should do in this situation. We will also discuss how to maximize energy and nutrition following the workout, so that you can get the most out of your exercise routine.

Benefits of Working Out Before Breakfast

Working out before breakfast can be an effective way to jumpstart your day and reach your fitness goals. Not only does it allow you to burn more calories, but it also boosts your energy levels and may even help improve your digestive system. It can also help you regulate your eating habits, allowing you to make better food choices during the day. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of working out before breakfast.

Improved Energy Levels

Improving your energy levels is one of the primary benefits of working out before breakfast. Exercise can help reduce fatigue and rev up your energy levels. Working out before you’ve had breakfast gives you an additional boost, since your body has extra fuel to work with. Your body will use carbohydrates for energy first, so you’ll have more energy to devote to exercise when the carbohydrates are still full in your system after a night’s rest. This can give you better performance on physical tasks such as running, lifting weights or even yoga classes.

Another way exercise helps improve energy levels is by increasing endorphins. Endorphins are hormones that help us feel good, both physically and mentally, as well as providing added energy for activities like exercise and physical tasks throughout the day. Regularly exercising before breakfast helps keep these endorphins at higher levels throughout the day, helping keep fatigue and stressors under control. Even if it’s just a short 10-minute workout upon waking, it can be beneficial for keeping your overall energy levels high throughout the rest of the day.

Increased Metabolism

Exercising before eating breakfast is an effective way to boost metabolism for the day. Research shows that intensity is important for a successful workout, and exercise on an empty stomach can produce an intense session without feeling the effects of a heavy meal in your stomach. When you combine a good warm-up, jumpstart your metabolism with a high-intensity activity, like running, and this could potentially help increase fat burn during your workout. Additionally, exercising fasted stimulates hormones in the body that boost metabolism and fat burning throughout the day. It’s recommended by experts to eat within two hours after exercising for optimal metabolic results.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

One of the main benefits of working out before breakfast is that it can lead to improved insulin sensitivity. When you exercise in a fasted state, your body can become more efficient in responding to increases in blood sugar levels, which is beneficial if you’re at risk of developing diabetes. By exercising before breakfast and providing proper nutrition throughout the day, you can optimize insulin regulation and increase your overall health. Additionally, fasting prior to your morning workout has been associated with an enhanced capacity for fat loss. In comparison to exercising after eating, pre-breakfast workouts have been linked with greater utilization of fat stores as fuel sources due to lower insulin levels during the session. This type of exercise may have additional metabolic benefits over time such as increased mitochondria biogenesis and density resulting in improved metabolic efficiency.

Drawbacks of Working Out Before Breakfast

Working out before breakfast can be beneficial for weight loss and other health goals. However, there are also some drawbacks to exercising in a fasted state. Lack of energy, increased muscle fatigue, and dehydration are all potential consequences of working out before a meal. Let’s explore these drawbacks in detail.


One of the drawbacks of working out before breakfast is hypoglycemia. People who have not eaten breakfast and exercise can experience a drastic drop in their blood sugar levels due to an excessive release of hormones known as adrenaline and cortisol. This sudden drop can lead to fatigue, lightheadedness, and confusion if left unresolved. To prevent this from happening, it is important to eat a quality carbohydrate-rich meal or snack before or after your workout in order to sustain energy levels during the exercise session. Additionally, those with diabetes should be especially mindful of monitoring their blood sugar levels when exercising on an empty stomach as hypoglycemia symptoms can be easy to miss in this instance. It is also beneficial for individuals to check with their doctor before engaging in physical activity without eating prior.

Lowered Energy Levels

When you work out before breakfast your body will have to rely on energy from stored carbohydrates and fats as it has not been replenished by any recently consumed foods. This decreased access to energy can result in a reduced capacity for exercise, as well as making you feel weaker during and after your workout. Additionally, muscle glycogen stores become depleted more quickly during an early morning workout and will take longer to recover afterwards, meaning you’ll find yourself drinking that post-workout shake earlier than usual.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels
When you exercise in a fasted state the release of fatty acids into the bloodstream can cause blood sugar levels to drop significantly. This lowers your overall energy levels and has been determined by researchers to decrease motivation levels, subsequently decreasing performance in anaerobic activities such as sprints or weightlifting. To avoid this problem it’s important to make sure you eat plenty beforehand or at least carry some snacks with you during an early morning workout session.

Reduced Performance

Working out before breakfast can have its drawbacks when it comes to enduring intense or prolonged workouts, as the body is being pushed to its limit without any energy sources in the system. A study conducted by the journal of Applied Physiology showed that people who exercised after eating breakfast showed increased performance levels and muscular strength when compared to those who worked out with an empty stomach.

Furthermore, exercising without having eaten at all usually causes a lack of focus and increases fatigue significantly faster due to the lack of energy in your system. This means that you may find yourself reaching your peak exercise potential sooner than you had planned, which may result in an incomplete workout session. It is also important to note that hydration becomes more important than ever when exercising on an empty stomach.

How to Make the Most of Working Out Before Breakfast

Working out before eating breakfast can have some great benefits if you approach it the right way. Doing a workout on an empty stomach can help you burn more fat and build muscle faster. It can also reset your metabolism which can help your body burn calories more efficiently. But there’s also some important things to consider when deciding to do a workout before breakfast. Let’s discuss all the pros and cons of this approach.

Eat a Light Snack Before Working Out

Before embarking on a workout before breakfast, it is important to understand the importance of pre-workout nutrition. Before you work out, having a light snack will give your body the energy and fuel required for exercising efficiently and effectively. Eating something that provides carbohydrates will help fuel your muscles before and during exercise, as well as provide necessary energy for exercise. If you eat too much heavy food or food high in fats or protein it can slow down digestion and cause a sluggish feeling during exercise.

For best results, eat a small snack 30–60 minutes prior to exercising. A light snack typically includes foods like fruits such as apples or bananas, vegetables such as carrots or celery sticks, toast with nut butter or Greek yogurt with honey are all excellent choices vegan-friendly options include oatmeal with fruit or chia seed pudding. Consuming these types of snacks will provide your body with the essential nutrients required prior to starting any form of physical activity while avoiding feeling full and heavy during the workout.

Drink Water Before and During Exercise

Consuming water before and during exercise can help you perform your workout to the best of your ability. Dehydration has been linked to fatigue, slow reaction times, and poor performance in endurance-based activities. Make sure to drink 6–8 ounces of water in the hour leading up to your morning workout. During exercise, try and take short breaks every 15 minutes or so where you can drink some more water. It will help you stay cool and energized throughout your workout. In addition, a couple of cups of black coffee, green tea or herbal tea may be beneficial as they contain caffeine which is known to boost physical performance. However, make sure not to overdo it as too much caffeine can lead to dehydration and other health issues.

Eat a Balanced Meal After Exercise

Eating a balanced meal after a workout is important to refuel your body and restore its energy stores. After a few hours of fasting, you need to replenish the energy sources used during exercise. While it’s true that breakfast is a valuable source of pre-workout fuel, having a meal after you exercise is just as important.

When it comes to post-exercise meals, it’s important to strike the right balance between carbohydrates and proteins. During exercise, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for energy, so replenishing those stores with carbohydrates such as fruits, potatoes or whole grain bread will help restore them. Eating proteins such as eggs, fish or beans in combination with carbohydrates can help repair muscle damage caused by exercise and speed up recovery.

It’s also important to stay hydrated after exercising before breakfast by drinking enough water or electrolyte-rich beverages throughout the day. Staying hydrated while exercising and afterwards can prevent fatigue and dizziness while helping keep your metabolism running smoothly. Finally, make sure to eat breakfast within two hours of finishing your workout so that you reap the most benefit from your meal and don’t feel drained afterwards.


While there is no single, definitive answer to the question of whether it is better to do a workout before breakfast or not, the evidence suggests that depending on your individual goals and physical condition, either one could be beneficial. For those who prefer to engage in high-intensity activities such as running, HIIT, or circuit training, studies suggest that performing exercise prior to eating breakfast may be more beneficial for energy expenditure. For those who are interested in more moderate exercise such as cycling or weightlifting and wish to build muscle mass rather than burn fat, doing these types of activities after a healthy meal may be more effective. Regardless of which option you choose, make sure to keep yourself properly fueled with a balanced diet and plenty of fluids throughout the day.

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