Workout before breakfast?

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    Workout before breakfast?

    Hi bees!
    I'm pretty new here and I've been reading around a lot and I know a lot of people do their workout before eating breakfast and I remember reading that it has a lot of benefits and makes progress faster and all that. And it would certainly help me build a routine since if I eat breakfast first, I then have to wait a bit before my workout and at that point I'm already late for some other appointment.

    However I remember trying to do a workout on a completely empty stomach once a while ago, when I was doing a pretty hard workout (not one from darebee) and I felt incredibly weak doing it, like I had no energy at alll, managed way less reps than usual and almost felt ready to faint. So obviously I'm kinda hesitant to try that again.

    What's your advice? Is it normal to feel that weak when doing a workout on an empty stomach? Does it get better? Should I just eat a banana before the workout or would that cancel out the positive effects? Are those positive effects (like faster weight loss and the like?) even true?

    tl;dr: what are the benefits to working out before breakfast, is it normal to feel really weak when doing it and is that really worth it?

    Thanks for any advice!

    I can only speak from personal experience, but...

    I typically exercise on an empty stomach, as I don't like the feeling of things "sloshing around." I think what helps is, most days, I exercise right after waking up.

    Perhaps you had been awake a while before exercising on empty on that occasion, and your body was just really needing food instead? If you have a pretty steady schedule most days, certain things will become ingrained, and your body can get thrown off if that routine is changed.

    If you think the banana would help, go for it. I personally wouldn't like it, but we're different people. What I would probably try to do is basically exercise right away and see if you still feel weak. If so, then maybe exercising before breakfast is not for you.


      I second Baston on that it is a routine thing. I am on a 18/6 intermittent fast, so my routine is: wake up, have an espresso (no sugar) and water, do some work for two hours (I work from home), then workout (have not eaten for 17h), have a muesli. I am finishing Power Cardio today on level II-III, so I quite push myself on empty and I never feel weak or sick. It's very important to hydrate properly. Drink water before and during the workout. About benefits (which are partly due to the IF): I lost 9 cm on my belly circumfence in 6 months and I toned up nicely. There was an article on this here with some science.
      All the best


        Among my workouts there is one even before breakfast, personally I never workout too demanding or too long as a first workout before breakfast, at most 15-20 min and I avoid the exercises to failure.
        Try, experiment and find what works for you. I find it very good to do a workout before breakfast, it helps me to wake up and to restart my energy but I am always careful not to overdo it


          I also like to train on empty when I can, but it really is a matter of personal preference, and a habit I've built over the years. When I started working out, strength training on an empty stomach would have been the death of me... or so I thought.

          The thing is, while intermittent fasting does have health benefits, it doesn't necessarily lead to fat loss (if you binge on junk food as soon as you're "allowed" to eat and eat more calories than you burn, you'll still put on weight).

          Being able to train efficiently is also a factor. If eating a banana, or even a full meal before working out helps you to perform better, that's definitely the most important thing. You'll have a harder time getting fitter if you're feeling weak while you're training.

          My advice would really be to experiment and find out what works for you best right now. You'll still be able to evolve and adapt over time if you feel the need to. And, as the others said, just because a specific approach seems to work wonders for someone else doesn't mean it actually suits your specific needs at this point.

          I hope this helps!


            I have breakfast before a weights workout, a cup of no sugar Alpen muesli with added walnut pieces, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, ground flax, dates, prunes and a cup of hot 2% milk and let soak for 10 mins or so. Before a Yoga class I usually fast.

            My weight workout is with dumbbells up to 50lbs and Hoist V1-Select in my apartment building fitness centre. I'm retired now but my last job was for a builder being a general labourer so would eat every 2 hours, when you work hard you have to eat.


              Thanks for your advice, everyone! I tried working out on empty today, since today wasn't a super high intensity day on my programs and I felt fine during it, so we'll see if I can also do it on harder days. As you said, I'll experiment a bit and see what works


                (I haven't read other comments but just want to share my experience.)

                I think it depends on people and you have to experiment and listen to your body. I can't train on empty if the training is intense or long, but you also don't want to eat too much right before exercise or you gonna puke.

                I usually do my workout in the evening. But I will do it or at least something in the morning, if I know the day is going to be so busy that I won't have the time or energy for workout at night.

                Yes I easily feel weak if I workout in the morning or before breakfast. Part of it is that my body isn't ready, but I find warming up like this really help.


                  I used to do it that way. But then I got into the habit of doing it before dinner.

                  I'd like to get back to morning workouts because its better in the summer.

                  Sure, it may be a bit challenging strength-wise in the beginning. Expect that. But eventually your body gets used to it and it all evens out. The body adapts.

                  I was able to do level 3 HIIT fasted in the morning when I was still used to it.


                    Just my 2 cents, I train on empty and I feel alright on it, I did find it hard at first but my body has adapted and I now do it as habit.

                    I have toned up well so far but then it is personal preference.

                    best of luck with your training any other questions feel free to ask any other questions we are all willing to help



                      I have worked out first thing in the morning for years. I prefer this because if my day gets too crazy I can always be satisfied that at least I did something good for my health that day by doing a morning workout. If I have time I like to do another activity in the evening like walking or cycling too. I prefer exercising on an empty stomach.