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Better to Eat before or After a Run?

Every serious runner or even the average jog-around-the-block patron has encountered the same question. Is it better to eat a meal before or after a run? Typically this question would address the early morning athlete; whether they should eat breakfast before or after.  However, this applies to afternoon and evening runners just as much.
Recent studies in both the US and Europe show that not eating before a run increases your body’s ability to burn fat.  The logic behind this? Scientists reason that because the body usually burns off carbohydrates during intense exercise, when you have not eaten anything your body is forced to burn off fat instead.  At the same time, studies prove completing an intense workout session is less efficient when the body has not eaten anything at all.

 What’s the consensus? 

Personally, I feel eating nothing before exercising is a bit extreme.  If you’re looking strictly at losing weight then eating nothing before a run may prove beneficial if done only a few times a week.  Anyone looking to lose fat while still maintaining or gaining muscle should have a small meal 45 minutes to one hour before a run.

Suggestions: 

Eat a banana; not only are they quick and easy to eat but they provide plenty of nutrients to give you energy for completing your workout. Not to mention, they help prevent cramps.  So remember, you can eat a small meal before a workout and still shed that extra weight!

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