Is It Good to Do a Workout Before Breakfast?

Learn whether it is good to do a workout before breakfast, and get tips on how to make the most of your morning routine.


It is widely believed that the best time to workout is first thing in the morning, but is it really good to do a workout before breakfast? While there are some benefits to exercising on an empty stomach, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks. In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of doing a workout before breakfast and provide tips for making sure you fuel up adequately.

Exercising on an empty stomach can lead to improved performance since glycogen levels are low, leading to an increased rate of fat burning during the workout. However, exercising on an empty stomach runs the risk of dehydration and hypoglycemia if it lasts too long. It could also reduce your power output and increase muscle fatigue.

To make sure you get the best out of your workout but don’t put yourself at risk for dehydration or hypoglycemia, it’s important to fuel up properly before you start exercising. Eating a light snack with complex carbs like fruit or oatmeal can help provide sustainable energy throughout your workout while still promoting fat burning effects associated with exercises done on an empty stomach. Additionally, make sure you hydrate properly after your exercise session with plenty of water and electrolytes in order maintain adequate hydration levels during and after your workout.

Benefits of Doing a Workout Before Breakfast

Doing a workout before breakfast offers numerous benefits such as improved metabolism, increased fat burning, and improved energy levels. Working out on an empty stomach can also increase your focus and alertness due to the release of endorphins. Additionally, working out in the morning can help to control your appetite throughout the day. Let’s dive into more details about the benefits of doing a workout before breakfast.

Improved Metabolism

Doing a workout before breakfast can help improve your metabolism throughout the day. Pre-breakfast exercise helps to boost metabolic rate, the rate at which the body burns calories and digests food. This can lead to an overall increase in energy levels, improved focus and concentration, and greater fat burning potential. Working out in the morning also causes you to burn more calories over the course of your day compared to working out during other times of day. Increased fat burning could result in better weight management or weight loss if it’s paired with a well-balanced diet and regular exercise routine. Additionally, research has shown that performing aerobic activity prior to eating breakfast can help improve insulin sensitivity in adults with Type 2 diabetes, thus helping to regulate blood sugar levels better.

Increased Calorie Burn

Exercising in a fasted state can result in increased calorie burn, as the body scans its own energy stores before turning to food for fuel. When your workouts are completed before eating anything, studies have shown an increase in calorie burn equivalent to between 18-29%, meaning that your body is burning off more fat while it’s burning off less carbohydrates.

Additionally, a 2016 study showed that completing cardio exercise when fasted could potentially increase fat metabolism, leading to greater weight loss than if the same amount of exercise were done after eating a meal. This is due to higher levels of growth hormone and other hormones released when fasted.

Although this does not mean that engaging in prolonged fasting will result in rapid weight loss, having the occasional workout on an empty stomach may be beneficial for those who are trying to lose weight. Additionally, exercising on an empty stomach can improve concentration and focus during workouts and has been shown to improve running performance.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

One of the biggest benefits you can gain from working out before breakfast is improved insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity refers to how well your body is able to use the hormone insulin to regulate glucose in the blood. Improved insulin sensitivity helps decrease fasting blood sugar levels and reduces your risk for developing diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Studies have shown that exercising on an empty stomach not only increases insulin sensitivity but also increases the amount of fat burned during a workout session, resulting in increased fat loss. As with any routine, it’s important to make sure you stay hydrated and fuel up afterwards with a healthy snack or meal full of proteins and carbohydrates.

Drawbacks of Doing a Workout Before Breakfast

Doing a workout before breakfast can be beneficial for certain individuals, as it can potentially help you burn more fat and get your heart rate up right away. However, there are some drawbacks to consider before going this route. Low energy levels and improper recovery are some of the drawbacks of working out before breakfast. Let’s dive deeper into why these can be problematic.

Low Energy Levels

One of the biggest drawbacks to working out before breakfast is the fact that your body will not have optimal energy levels. Our bodies need food for energy, and so if you are working out on an empty stomach, your body will be using its own stored energy reserves to power you through your workout. This puts a heavy strain on the body and can lead to a decrease in performance. In addition to this, if continued over a long period of time without properly fueling yourself prior to exercising, it can cause fatigue and exhaustion from not having enough nutrients available for proper recovery. If you are looking for peak performance, it is best to always ensure that you have eaten something prior to exercise.


It’s important to keep in mind that when you exercise before breakfast, you are engaging in physical activity without any fuel. Doing an early morning workout on an empty stomach can sometimes result in dehydration, as your body has not been replenished with fluids overnight. Low hydration levels can make it difficult to complete a high-intensity workout, given that the lack of fluid causes the body to become easily fatigued, and it could also contribute to headaches or nausea. Therefore, if you decide to carry out your physical activity before breakfast, be sure to have plenty of water on hand and drink before, during and after exercise.

Nutrient Deficiencies

One potential drawback of doing a workout before breakfast is that it can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Without food in the system prior to exercise, people may not be able to maximize the benefits of the workout from a caloric-burning perspective. Additionally, it can be difficult for some individuals to achieve an effective workout without adequate fuel in the form of dietary nutrients. Consequently, working out before breakfast might result in additional strain on the body and even injury.

In order for a person’s body to perform optimally during exercise and promote recovery afterward, it is important to make sure adequate nutrient density is available. This means proper hydration and nutrients such as carbohydrates and proteins should be consumed prior to engaging in physical activity, especially if performing at a high intensity or working out first thing in the morning. Delaying breakfast until after a workout can lead to decreased performance levels along with nutrient deficiencies that could potentially harm overall health and wellness.

Tips for Doing a Workout Before Breakfast

Working out before breakfast is a great way to burn more calories and get the most out of your workout. It can also help boost your metabolism and give you more energy throughout the day. However, there are some tips to keep in mind when doing a workout before breakfast. This section will cover the best methods for working out before breakfast to ensure that you get the most out of your workout.

Eat a Small Snack Before Working Out

Before you exercise in the morning, it’s important to fuel your body with a small snack. This will provide energy to keep you going during your workout. It’s best to stick with simple carbs and a combination of protein and healthy fats. Some good example of snacks are toast with peanut butter, banana and almond milk smoothie, yogurt with fresh berries, or oatmeal with protein powder.

Eating something before working out helps keep your blood sugar levels regulated throughout the exercise and keeps your energy up. Eating the right snack will also give you additional nutrients you need for a more intense workout. Your body will be able to break down the smaller snacks quickly so that it can get the fuel it needs for exercise faster than if you were to eat a bigger meal.

Whatever snack you choose, make sure that you eat it at least 30 minutes before your workout so that it can properly digest in your system and provide energy specifically for exercise. The goal is to find something that is both light enough not to cause digestive upset or nausea during workout but at the same time provides enough nutrition for muscle recovery after long hours of exercise.

Drink Plenty of Water

When you plan to do a workout before breakfast, it is essential to ensure that your body is adequately hydrated. Drink a glass of water 30 minutes prior to starting the workout and sip on some water during the entire workout session. The American Council on Exercise recommends drinking between 17 and 20 ounces of fluid 2-3 hours before starting the exercise routine and 7-10 ounces every 10-20 minutes during exercise. It is best to maintain electrolyte balance with an electrolyte-replacement drink, especially if you are sweating profusely due to vigorous exercise.

Eat a Balanced Meal After Working Out

If you are beginning a vigorous workout prior to eating breakfast, it is critical that you replace the nutrients you have burned during your workout. A balanced meal is an important part of replenishing your energy levels and ensuring that your body receives adequate nutrition.

The timing of your post-workout meal depends on the type of exercise you have participated in as well as its intensity and length. For a mild to moderate 30-minute workout, a small snack that contains both protein and carbohydrates will suffice. Protein-rich foods such as eggs or low-fat yogurt with some fresh fruit provide optimal replenishment of nutrients. If the exercise was more vigorous in nature, then a more substantial meal will be beneficial within two hours of completing your workout. This should include proteins, carbohydrates and fibers such as brown rice or quinoa with grilled chicken or fish, along with fresh vegetables. Eating a full meal before bedtime can also help repair tissue damage caused by exercise while helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Careful timing of meals throughout the day will help ensure adequate fuel for strenuous activities yet allow enough time for the food to be digested properly before performing physical activities again; this will maximize performance gains and lead to superior results from workouts at any time of day.


In conclusion, exercising before breakfast can have its benefits, such as improving insulin sensitivity, aiding with weight loss, and increasing energy metabolism. However, it is important to take into account other factors before making this decision. It is recommended to listen to your body and assess whether it is ready to exercise on an empty stomach or not and make sure you are cognizant of how food affects your performance in order for you to get the best workout results. Additionally, it may be advisable to check with a nutritionist or physician before making such a drastic change in your routine. Ultimately, your fitness needs are unique and should be tailored accordingly in order for you to reach your goal safely and effectively.

Checkout this video:

Similar Posts