If there was one golden rule when you were growing up, it was to never eat within half an hour of going swimming, otherwise the world would end... Or you'd get cramp.
But it turns out exercise on an empty stomach isn’t such a good idea either.
Here’s why you should have a banana before that early morning gym session:
Your body doesn’t like being starved
When you burn fat rapidly, your body goes into survival mode, and adjusts its metabolism to compensate for any loss of energy.
Studies have shown that not eating can lead to a drop in metabolic rates, so there’s no point putting off food until after your workout.
Eating first means eating less
Another study found that eating before workout might actually suppress your appetite more so than if you didn’t eat anything.
Participants who ate before exercise ate less later on in the day after their workout than those who went without food.
You might burn the wrong thing
Exercise on an empty stomach can sometimes cause you to shed some muscle as well as fat.
Once your body has burnt through its glycogen fuel stores, it might get more energy from muscle proteins as well as fats – but this is only the case if you do a more intense workout than usual.
Food is good
And no one wants to go to the gym hungry.
Let's face it: if you have more energy, you'll work harder.