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Is it safe to go for a run on an empty stomach? Here are the pros and cons

There are both pros and cons of running on an empty stomach. It can be beneficial for weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity, but it also comes with potential risks like low blood sugar and decreased performance.

Written By: Kristina Das @https://twitter.com/KristinaDas2 New Delhi Published on: May 21, 2024 15:29 IST
safe to go for a run on an empty stomach or not
Image Source : FREEPIK Know whether it is safe to go for a run on an empty stomach or not.

Running is a popular form of exercise that can improve cardiovascular health, strengthen muscles, and boost mental well-being. It's also a convenient and cost-effective workout option that can be done anywhere, at any time. However, the question arises - is it safe to go for a run on an empty stomach? Some people swear by it, while others believe it can do more harm than good. Let's dive into the pros and cons of running on an empty stomach and find out the truth behind this great debate.

Pros:

  • Increased fat burning: Running on an empty stomach can lead to greater fat burn compared to running after a meal. When our body is in a fasted state, it relies on stored fat as its primary source of energy. This can help in burning stubborn fat and aiding in weight loss goals.
  • Improved insulin sensitivity: Insulin sensitivity refers to how well our body responds to insulin, a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. Several studies have shown that fasted exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, making it beneficial for individuals with conditions like diabetes or insulin resistance.
  • Better mental clarity: Exercise is known to release endorphins, also known as "feel-good" hormones that can improve mood and reduce stress levels. Running on an empty stomach can enhance this effect, leading to better mental clarity and improved focus for the rest of the day.
  • Convenience: For some people, running in the morning on an empty stomach is more convenient as they don't have to worry about digesting a meal before hitting the road. It's also a time-saving option for those with busy schedules.

Cons:

  • Risk of low blood sugar: Running on an empty stomach can cause a drop in blood sugar levels, leading to symptoms like dizziness, weakness, and even fainting. This can be dangerous, especially for individuals with underlying health conditions.
  • Decreased performance: Our body needs fuel to perform any physical activity, and running on an empty stomach can limit our energy levels, resulting in decreased performance. This can lead to a shorter and less effective workout.
  • Increased risk of injury: Exercising on an empty stomach can also increase the risk of injury. Without proper fuel, our muscles may not function at their best, increasing the chances of strains, cramps, and other injuries.
  • Disrupts metabolism: Regularly running on an empty stomach can disrupt our metabolism and lead to a slower metabolism over time. This can make it harder to maintain a healthy weight and may even cause weight gain in the long run.

So, is it safe to go for a run on an empty stomach?

The truth is, it depends on the individual's body and their specific goals. Some people may benefit from fast running, while others may not. It's essential to listen to your body and make informed decisions about your workout routine.

ALSO READ: 5 effective exercises to perform before bed for improved sleep quality

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