Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To Eat or Not to Eat Before Exercise

Although exercising on an empty stomach can give you a higher amount of fat burn, it also can cause your body to rely on your muscles for fuel. This in turn means you are losing muscle mass.

The body needs some amount of carbs in order to burn calories and fat more efficiently without looking to the muscles for the fuel it needs. How much you need to eat depends on the type of workout you have planned, the duration and the time of day. clock

For instance, if you are an early morning exerciser, then eating before working out can be a light meal (200 to 300 calories) of carbs and protein. Your foods for exercise do not have to be an elaborate meal. Just make it simple but be sure to include carbohydrates and protein.

Additionally, be sure to hydrate sufficiently as you have gone all night without water. Drink 2 glasses of water upon waking and then have your meal. Wait for about ½ to one hour before working out.

Another helpful tip to prevent stomach cramps is to make your meal liquid like a protein shake. Since you are only waiting less than hour for your workout this can help prevent stomach pains while exercising. Eating before exercise will provide your body with the needed fuel so you can workout longer and burn more calories.

If your workout is during the day or evening and after larger meals, you should wait longer before exercising. You should allow 3 to 4 hours after eating before exercise for big meals and 2 to 3 hours after smaller meals.

If you are planning a workout for less than an hour, you will want to choose carbs that can be easily digested like crackers, bagels and breads. Be sure to make these low fat choices.

However, if you are planning a workout for more thanbread an hour than you want to select carbohydrates that take longer to digest. Foods like bananas or yogurts are carbs that take longer to digest. Additionally, you want to be well hydrated before, during and after your workout, especially during for the longer exercise routines.

Muscle of the Week:

2 Moves that target your TRAPEZIUS


1. Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width as you hold a barbell with both hands in front of you using a pronated grip (palms facing the thighs).

shrugs2. Raise your shoulders up as far as you can go as you breathe out and hold the contraction for a second. Tip: Refrain from trying to lift the barbell by using your biceps.
3. Slowly return to the starting position as you breathe in.
4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions


1. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand with a pronated (palms forward) grip that is slightly less than shoulder width. The dumbbells should be resting on top of your thighs. Your arms should be extended with a slight bend at the elbows and your back should be straight. This will be your starting position.
2. Use your side shoulders to lift the dumbbells as you exhale. The dumbbells should be close to the body as you move it up and the elbows should drive the motion. Continue to lift them until they nearly touch your chin. Tip: Your elbows should drive the motion.dumbbell shrugs As you lift the dumbbells, your elbows should always be higher than your forearms.
3. Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
4. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.