Should You Train On An Empty Stomach?

Empty Stomach

In the modern world, more and more people prefer to lead a healthy lifestyle , to have a beautiful and fit body . Unfortunately, not everyone manages to devote a lot of time to sports. The frantic pace of life dictates its own conditions, and everyone wants to get the maximum result in a short time.

Today, it is widely believed that exercising on an empty stomach helps you burn fat in record time, and exercising on an empty stomach is beneficial. However, to make a final decision, you must fully understand the issue.

What you need to know about training on an empty stomach

In fact, hormones , in particular for weight loss or muscle growth, such as insulin, growth hormone and testosterone , are of great importance for all processes in the human body .

After waking up, the human body contains a very small amount of the hormone insulin and, on the contrary, the maximum amount of growth hormone .

Insulin is produced after every meal, helping to extract glucose from it, which enters the bloodstream and is converted into energy. If you plan to train on an empty stomach, and the glucose reserves from the last meals are used up, then the body will use fat cells as a source of energy.

An insufficient amount of glucose in the body will provoke the production of its own growth hormone, which will contribute to the active increase in muscle mass. During fasting, the production of this hormone can increase up to 1.5 times .

Another hormone that directly affects muscle growth and fat burning is testosterone . Thanks to him, with a short refusal from food, strength training can be more effective.

Also, to get the maximum effect from fasting workout, you need to follow the rules:

  • The duration of such training should be short , and the pace should not be too intense . The burning of fat from the body’s reserves will begin after 30 minutes of exercise at an average pace.
  • Avoid pre-workout carbs ; protein or sugar-free coffee can be used to maintain muscle mass.
  • When it comes to cardio training, then you need to start it by running at a low pace or brisk walking and remember that the longer this process, the more fat will be burned.
  • If the training is strength, then after it you cannot immediately consume carbohydrates and refrain from them as long as possible in order to allow the body to use fat for food, which begins to be broken down not during, but after training.

Benefits of training on an empty stomach

  • Improves overall well-being and relieves feeling of fatigue throughout the day.
  • Effective if one of the training goals is to lose weight. It is better to choose a cardio load for this, in which adrenaline enters the bloodstream, triggering the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats.
  • The body’s endurance increases : the absence or low level of glucose during training triggers certain metabolic processes, thereby the muscles better adapt to physical activity.
  • It helps professional bodybuilders dry well in preparation for a competition.
  • Helps the body become more insulin sensitive by improving blood flow to muscles and helping to shed excess deposits faster.
  • Promotes an increase in growth hormone , which will begin to actively create new muscle tissue.
  • It provokes the release of testosterone , while proteins, carbohydrates and fats go where they are needed, and will not be sent to unnecessary deposits.
  • Stimulates serotonin and dopamine receptors , which are actively involved in the metabolic processes of the body.

When is it better to stop exercising on an empty stomach?

  • Morning workout on an empty stomach is more suitable for “larks” and is unlikely to please “owls”.
  • It should be remembered that “hungry” training is, first of all, a serious load on the cardiovascular system , it is difficult for the heart to pump blood, which is still very thick after waking up, therefore such physical activity is contraindicated for people with heart problems.
  • Also, people with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract should not be engaged on an empty stomach, because the active production of gastric juice very seriously disrupts the gastric mucosa and will only aggravate the problems.
  • If the goal of training is to build muscle mass, then it should be remembered that in the absence of sufficient amounts of nutrients, the body will receive energy by “eating” the muscles, and muscle mass will even decrease slightly, so strength training in the morning will not bring the desired effect.
  • Metabolic changes during such physical exertion will not play a decisive role for professional athletes , since, according to most scientists, the end indicators of athletes with initially low levels of glycogen in muscles and those who do not practice such types of loads do not differ much.


Summing up the above, it can be noted that only exceptionally healthy people or professional athletes can afford to exercise on an empty stomach . In the presence of some deviations in health, such a load can cause serious harm to the body.

This type of load is also not suitable for novice athletes: the training will not only be especially difficult for them, but it can also undermine their health, including the cardiovascular system.

In general, in the absence of contraindications for health and a general positive reaction of the body, training on an empty stomach will help eliminate the consequences of a sedentary lifestyle and increase the body’s own endurance.

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