Individuals who love to exercise in the morning will have two options to choose from – either they can workout before breakfast or after breakfast.
So if you workout first thing in the morning then you may want to know whether it’s best to workout before breakfast or it’s best to workout after breakfast.
To answer your question in this post, I will cover the following topic in detail – should you exercise before or after breakfast?
Should you workout before or after breakfast
When you exercise for less than 30 minutes in the morning, you will most likely not find any major differences between exercising before or after breakfast. In general, it’s best to workout for a short duration on an empty stomach. And if you want to exercise longer than 30 minutes or do weight lifting in your morning workout then it’s best to workout after eating your breakfast.
Below you will find more information that will help you decide if you should exercise before breakfast or after breakfast.
Here are some of the things you should know before deciding whether to workout before breakfast or after.
When you wake up in the morning you have been in a fasted state for 6-10 hours. So your body’s energy level gets depleted during this period. The amount of energy that is left in your body is only good for exercising for 30 minutes or walking for up to 45 minutes.
If you extend your workouts more than 30 minutes without eating anything then your body will be left with very low energy. Thus it’s recommended to only workout for 30 minutes or less if you want to workout immediately after waking up on an empty stomach.
For someone who wants to workout for more than 30 minutes or wants to do any type of intense workout or weight lifting, it’s recommended that they eat something before they workout.
It’s not mandatory to eat a full breakfast before you workout in the morning. To get some quick energy you can eat some light food items before your workout.
After eating some light food items you can workout within 10-20 minutes and by the time you complete your workout your body will digest those food items and make up for the burned energy that you have used to complete your morning workout.
Quick note: Here are some of the food items that you can eat before your morning workout without going for a full breakfast – banana, dry cereal, granola, dates, dried fruits, honey, smoothies, potato, raisins, peanut butter etc.
When it’s best to exercise before breakfast
As you have already read that if you decided to workout on an empty stomach, then you should do those workouts that can be completed within 30 minutes.
If you only do bodyweight exercises like pushups, planks, and lunges in your morning workout routine then for you it’s best to exercise before breakfast.
Any type of slow-paced workout or most bodyweight exercises can be done in your morning workout before breakfast.
But if you want to exercise for more than 30 minutes or want to do high-intensity workouts and weight lifting then it’s better to eat something before your workout or you can workout after breakfast.
Ultimately when you should exercise in the morning comes down to your personal preference.
When it’s best to exercise after breakfast
For any workout session that exceeds 30 minutes or for weight lifting it’s best to exercise after breakfast.
If you wake up early in the morning around 6 am then you might not want to eat your breakfast that early. So in that case you can eat something light that will give you the energy to complete your workout.
When you are going for a full workout session that lasts longer than 30 minutes you will see a dramatic improvement in your performance if you fuel up your body before exercising.
Remember to provide your body with the energy you have to eat your food at least 30-45 minutes before your workout. For getting some quick energy before your morning workout you can eat 1-2 bananas, fruit smoothies or a protein shake.
Benefits of morning exercise before breakfast
If you want to exercise before breakfast, then there are many benefits of morning exercise before breakfast. Here are some of the benefits that you get when you workout before breakfast:
Exercising on an empty stomach can give you better fat-burning results. When you workout in the morning on an empty stomach after staying in a fasted state for 6-10 hours your body uses a portion of your body fat to supply energy for your workout.
So, someone who has a high amount of body fat can get better fat-burning results if they workout in the morning on an empty stomach.
It can help you to boost your metabolism. Exercising before breakfast can help you to increase your metabolism rate and even after completing your workout your metabolism still remains high. A high metabolism rate helps your body to burn more calories.
Exercising before breakfast can uplift your mood. If you want to start your day in a better way then you should go for a morning workout. Completing a morning workout will give you a feeling of accomplishment and when you workout earlier in the day it helps you to build momentum. Completing your workout before breakfast can help you to stay motivated and have a great day ahead.
Helps you to have better sleep at night. When you workout in the morning as the evening hours begin you will slowly feel the exhaustion from the workout. So when the sleeping time comes your body will crave some rest which can help you to fall asleep faster and you will enjoy a sound sleep at night.
If you are eating breakfast then how long you should wait to workout
If you are eating a full-sized breakfast then you should wait for one to one and a half hours before you began exercising. After you eat a meal your body needs some time to settle the food in your stomach and start digesting it.
The amount of food you eat in your breakfast greatly defines how long you have to wait to exercise after eating a meal.
In most cases, you can exercise after one hour if you eat moderate amounts of food in your breakfast.
If you just eat some oats with milk, an omelette with 2-3 slices of bread and some tea or coffee then you can work out within 30-45 minutes after you have eaten your breakfast.
How you can exercise after eating something in the morning
After eating a small breakfast you have to wait 30-45 minutes before you can workout. If you don’t want to wait that long then you need to eat some light food items instead of a full breakfast. You can exercise after eating some light food items and then have your breakfast after your workout.
This will shorten the time it takes to workout after eating a meal.
Before you workout in the morning, you can eat any type of fruit like a banana, an apple, 2-3 slices of bread with jam or peanut butter, dry fruits, raisins, honey etc.
Should you exercise before or after breakfast greatly depends on your personal preferences and what type of workout you are doing?
Short workout sessions that can be completed within 30 minutes will have no impact on whether you are completing them before breakfast or after breakfast.
If you are doing just bodyweight exercises then you can workout on an empty stomach in the morning.
But for high-intensity workouts or for weight lifting it’s recommended that you eat something before you workout. Also, for any morning workout that is longer than 30 minutes, you should eat something before the workout.
FAQs about whether should you exercise before or after breakfast
Is it good to workout on an empty stomach in the morning?
If you are doing bodyweight exercises in your morning workout and exercising for less than 30 minutes on an empty stomach then you might not find any issue and you can continue your workouts. But if you are exercising for more than 30 minutes then it’s recommended that you eat some food 20-30 minutes before your workout.
Is it okay to exercise after breakfast?
Yes, it’s okay to exercise after breakfast and worldwide many people also workout after they eat their breakfast. But when you want to workout after breakfast you should not start exercising immediately after eating your breakfast. After eating a full-sized breakfast you should wait at least one hour before you began to exercise.
What should I eat before a workout in the morning?
Before you workout in the morning, you can eat the following food items within 20-30 minutes – banana, dry cereal, granola, dates, dried fruits, honey, smoothies, potato, raisins, peanut butter etc.
What happens if you exercise after eating?
If you exercise right after eating some food then depending on the type of food and the amount of food you have eaten you might face some health issues. Most common health issues that occur if you workout right after eating are vomiting and stomach issues.
How long should I wait after I eat to workout?
After eating moderate amounts of food you should wait at least 45-60 minutes. When you are having a full breakfast you need to wait a little bit longer. After eating a huge breakfast you should wait 90 minutes after you eat to workout.