Is running on an empty stomach recommended? We asked a doctor!
Do you tend to skip breakfast before going for a run or on the contrary have a heavy meal and wonder if you are on the right track? Sports doctor and osteopath Gilles Mondoloni answers you.
Will you have enough fuel to go the distance without feeling sick if you leave on an empty stomach? Or will the weight of the multiple sandwiches ingested before the effort interrupt it prematurely after a few hundred meters? These are the questions you are probably asking yourself about running on an empty stomach, whether you are part of the first school or the second. “Actually, it all depends on what you want” immediately asserts Doctor Gilles Mondoloni.
Eat less to run better
If you are running to improve your athletic performance, running without eating is indeed a good strategy. “We know that fat loss is favored by exercise on an empty stomach” confirms the expert. “You will therefore increase your ability to run by losing weight since you will have more muscles, less fat and less weight to tow. »
But that’s not all: by getting your body used to using fat first during exercise – “and don’t worry, we can lose a few pounds without worrying because we have it all over the body, even when we are thin” – you will also avoid emptying your glycogen stores. “These are the sugars contained in particular in the liver, and the stocks do not last indefinitely. »
In short, if you are aiming for a Paris Marathon record or if you simply want to lose excess pounds, eat instead when you return from your run, without missing the metabolic window (a period of optimization of nutritional intake to better retrieve).
Running on an empty stomach is not an obligation
However be careful, nothing obliges you to have the lifestyle of a top athlete. If you run for pleasure, well-being or simply to optimize your health capital, “You can absolutely eat in the morning” says Doctor Mondoloni. “But of course have a light breakfast. Coffee, cereal, yogurt… you can run with a half-full stomach. And above all, remember to stay hydrated. After a night’s sleep, you have to drink a lot. » So you have understood: everything actually depends on your objective. Because as the doctor also notes, “Inflicting regular training on yourself is already a form of stress for the body. Running on an empty stomach to be a gazelle is yet another stress. » You decide !