Exercising has a lot of health benefits. It is good for our heart health, our brain health; it helps improve our skin, and it helps improve our well being, to name a few.
Now, if you already include exercising in your daily routine, the good news is, you can even maximize its health benefits – and that is to exercise on an empty stomach, according to a recent study.
According to the University of Bath, a study published in the American Journal of Physiology revealed that exercising on an empty stomach may help improve our adipose tissue function and health.
Adipose tissue, or fat, stores energy, cushions, and insulates the body. It is located primarily underneath the skin, but can also be found around our internal organs.
The study involved 10 overweight men. The first group of participants were asked to walk for an hour on treadmill on an empty stomach, and the other group was asked to walk on the treadmill after consuming a high-calorie, high-carbohydrate breakfast. Their blood samples were collected after fasting or eating, and then after exercising.
The researchers then analyzed the effects of eating versus fasting in adipose tissue in response to exercise. They found that after eating, the adipose tissue will not receive the same beneficial effects as exercising with an empty stomach since the adipose tissue is still busy responding to the meal.
The expression of two genes, PDK4 and HSL, were observed to have increased when the men fasted and exercised, and they decreased when they consumed food before exercising. When there is increased activity like exercise, HSL usually increases when the adipose tissue uses stored energy during such activity.
“This means that exercise in a fasted state might provoke more favorable changes in adipose tissue, and this could be beneficial for health in the long term”, according to Dylan Thompson, corresponding author of the study.
So if you want to gain more health benefits through exercising, make sure you do it on an empty stomach.