Before Morning Exercise, Should I Have Breakfast First or Not?

Breakfast and morning exercise are good activities to maintain health. However, this activity can be a dilemma for people who have an exercise schedule in the morning. So, which is better: breakfast before or after exercise?

The advantages of exercise before breakfast

Several studies show exercise before breakfast is safe. One of the studies published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2013 showed that exercising before breakfast can burn 20% more body fat.

If you want to burn fat, the body must use food reserves in the form of fat, not from the food you eat. This is because basically, the body stores energy reserves in the form of fat, even when you haven’t eaten.


When you exercise before breakfast, your body doesn’t have energy from food yet. All the energy you use to exercise comes from fat. This is why exercising before breakfast can make you burn more fat.

In addition, researchers explain that exercise in the morning before breakfast will not make you want to eat more or starve throughout the day. This will actually make the morning exercise session more optimal.

When you exercise before eating, there is a change in the performance of the hormone insulin and growth hormone. In this way, you help the body to adjust the production of the hormone insulin.

Once you finish exercising and eating, the hormone insulin will work more sensitively. This hormone also helps the absorption of nutrients from food better and distributes them to the muscles and liver.

Growth hormone performance is also better when you exercise before breakfast. This hormone helps build muscle tissue, burn fat, and improve bone health and physical endurance.

Not everyone can exercise before breakfast

The fewer calories in the digestive system, the more fat is burned during exercise because the body takes food reserves from fat. This is why exercise before meals is suitable for people who want to burn more fat.

However, if you’re exercising to improve your physical fitness, strength, and speed, exercising without food will actually make it ineffective. This is because the body still needs calories in the metabolic process.

Exercise before eating is also not recommended for diabetics because they often experience low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia). If you have diabetes, you should eat breakfast or have a small snack before your workout.

Tips for safe morning exercise before breakfast

Both exercise and breakfast are habit-influenced activities so the method varies from person to person. However, if you want to try exercising on an empty stomach, here are some tips to follow.

1. Prepare yourself from the night before

Waking up early is influenced by the biological clock and bedtime. Therefore, if you want to exercise in the morning, get enough sleep at night so that the body is ready for physical activity in the morning.

2. Do the right sport

Do sports according to your wishes or habits first. If you’re just starting an exercise routine, try light-intensity exercises such as a morning walk or jog.

3. Sufficient water needs

Drink about half to one liter of mineral water or other sports drinks before and after exercise. You are recommended to meet the needs of this fluid two or three hours before exercise.

4. Rest when tired and eat when you need

Not everyone is able to exercise before breakfast. If you feel tired or start to feel hungry, stop exercising to prevent muscle loss. Eat healthy snacks to give your body energy.

5. Sufficient nutritional needs after exercise

Whether you have breakfast or not, it is recommended that you return to eating within 45 minutes of exercising. However, don’t just eat carbohydrates. Choose foods high in protein to restore lost energy.

Breakfast and exercise both have an important role for health. Many experts actually recommend exercising before breakfast. However, this still needs to be adjusted to the conditions and needs of each person.

Exercise on an empty stomach may be effective for people who want to burn more fat. However, for people who want to build muscle or suffer from certain diseases, breakfast before exercising is a better choice.

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