Discussion in 'Health Tips for the Martial Artist' started by Kirk, Mar 17, 2002.

  1. Kirk

    Kirk Guest

    I started taking the cardio kickboxing classes that my instructor
    teaches at my school. On the weekends, the wife and I like to
    stay up late and do whatever .. watch movies, go out with friends,
    etc. The classes start early on the weekends, so I have to set
    my alarm to wake up, get ready and go. The problem is that I'm
    not hungry first thing in the morning. So I go to class without
    eating. I don't want to carbo load, this is aerobic activity.

    I know that when doing cardio workouts that you body looks
    to food recently digested for energy. Once that's burned up,
    does it go to fat first, then muscles? Or if there's nothing in
    your stomach, does it go straight to absorbing nutrients from
    your muscles? If that's the case, how long should I NOT go
    without eating before working out?
  2. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

    • Founding Member
    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Sep 1, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Let me preface my response by stating that I am NOT a doctor or nutritionist and that this is coming from my rather limited and scrambled memory.

    If memory serves (unlikely), your body will first start try feeding on fat 'reserves'. What specific type of fat, I don't know. If there are no fat stores, then the body will try gaining 'fuel' from muscle tissue.

    This supposedly explains why professional marathon runners look emaciated. They run so much, for so long, their bodies simply can't keep fat stores. Their bodies get what little they can from fat and the rest from muscle, which is why you almost never see a marathon runner that looks like Schwarzenegger.

    So, unless you're already freakishly skinny, you may not have anything to worry about. However, I know that if I have a strenuous workout without having had eaten previously, I run the risk of getting lightheaded and/or passing out.

    My advice? Talk to your doc. That's what they're there for ;)

  3. KumaSan

    KumaSan Blue Belt

    • Founding Member
    Nov 17, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Something else to keep in mind. When you get up your body is in fasting mode. That first bite to eat (break 'fast', get it?) wakes up your metabolism. Your body won't really burn as many calories and you may not feel as good about your workout if you do in on an empty stomach. If there's fuel in the tank, so to speak, the body will generally keep a higher metabolic rate after a workout. On an empty stomach body won't sustain that metabolic boost that exercise gives you. The upside is that all calories you do burn pretty much come from body fat stores or muscle, not breakfast. So the choice basically is burn less calories, but more of them from body fat, or burn more calories, and have more to burn off (from breakfast).

    By the way, I am no doctor or nutritionist, and I only managed a B+ in physiology and anatomy my junior year in high school. However I wrestled in high school (no one knows more about losing weight than wrestlers, not even teen-age girls), and I'm the navy just sent me through a nutrition and fitness course (again, that's twice in less than a year...). So I'm not qualified to officially give advice, if I could, I would advise you to grab something small and light to eat before you go, like a piece of bread, an apple, banana, you get the idea.
  4. Mathusula2

    Mathusula2 Guest

    There are so many variables to metabolism, burning this or that, etc. I know for a fact that if you do cardio first thing in the morning, before eating breakfast, and then eat a healthy breakfast right after, your metabolizm will skyrocket for about 3 -4 hours afterward. With that said, the kind of cardio you do determines what your body is using as a fuel source. For fat burning, a target heart rate of 65% your max (usually around 130 bpm, or so) will give maximum fat loss with minimum muscle loss. Once your body gets to the point where you are out of breath (usually >140 bpm) your body is no longer obtaining the proper oxygen levels to promote fat utilization, so it switches to muscular fuel.

    A good way to know if you're at your optimum fat-burning heart rate is if you are sweating, but you can still carry a conversation -- so you're not out of breath.

    Also, for optimum fat burning, I would recommend doing double sessions -- do 35 min. of cardio in the morning, wait 5 hours minimum and do a strength training routine followed by another 35 min. of cardio about 3 - 4 times a week.

    Tack on a good -- healthy diet and you should expect to see results quite rapidly. With a good diet and all this cardio, you can safely loose 3 - 5 lbs. (roughly 1.5 - 2 kg) weekly. Without the cardio and just a good diet, 1 - 2 lbs. (.5 - 1kg) weekly is as safe as weight loss gets.
  5. Just a thought, but the aim of a work out is to do 'quality' exercises. I find that eating breakfast before working out helps keep me in quality exercise mode. otherwise my body begins to falter sooner and the resultant movements are rubbish, let alone your mood. Dont forget to drink loads too. at least start hydrating before the hour 'before the hour' preceeding your train and in the last hour just keep topping up your water. isotonic drinks are better as the minerals aren't washed from your body. Avoid fizzy and too many sugary drinks as they can put on weight fast.

    PS i'm not a physician, just interested in the subject.:)
  6. yin_yang75

    yin_yang75 Guest

    I got an article on it here

    It is a start. Most doctors don't know as much about nutrition as the average health food store clerk. I think the average lifespan of a doctor is 56 (I heard it and don't know how valid it is)

    What works for one person is a waste of time for another so you have to see what works for you. If you can get your hands on organic produce it is a start and use Garden of Life Supper Food.

    Martial artist need Omega 3 oils and flax seed among other stuff. Trust yourself, keep an open mind.
  7. lvwhitebir

    lvwhitebir Guest

    I wouldn't worry about whether your energy comes from the last meal or not. I believe that you should eat something before working out simply to keep your blood sugar level up to keep you from "hitting the wall". I've seen people burn out after just doing the warm-ups because they ran out of steam. That means they won't get an effective workout.

    Now from some information I read in Covert Bailey's book. Your body always starts with carbs for energy first. It's readily released into the blood stream and can be thought of as kindling. When your body has burned enough carbs (different for different people) it will turn more to fat, until mostly fat is being used. Fat can only be burned in the presence of oxygen, so you have to be exercising aerobically to burn the optimum amounts of fat.

    Carbs will be burned longer for those that are out of shape. Covert says it's like your body knows you'll stop soon, because you always have. Fit people switch to fat burning faster because the body wants to make sure they can keep going.

    Fat stores are not hit first thing. It's like trying to burn a big log in a fire. You need the kindling first. The food you just ate will not be hit first thing. It has to be digested first, which depending on the food can take hours.

    So, to answer your question. I would eat first thing in the morning to be sure I can work out effectively. If you don't need to, so be it. It shouldn't make any other difference.

    Oh, and for the non-medical folk like me, Covert Bailey's books (e.g., Smart Exercise) are an excellent read. He puts the information in a nice readable format with pretty good anecdotes.

  8. Bagatha

    Bagatha Guest

    If I remember correctly the first 20 minutes or so your body uses up its carb stores. Now carb stores is not fat stores. After that it will burn fat for 40 minutes longer, after an hour of activity your body will start burning muscle. From what I have read fat is not a preferred source of energy, it has to go through a long process to be broken down into useable energy again. Many people suggest when doing a weight loss plan to do arobic activity in the morning before you eat. Then your bodys "carb stores" is very low and it can go into fat faster. No matter what though you have to make sure you eat something immediatley after any workout like within 20 minutes or your muscles will start to atrophy. Something high carb/sugar<-but low in fat. Then within 1 hour you need to eat a protien food, nothing is better then a whey protien shake. The best weight loss is prevention, even if your obese you can prevent your body from storing any MORE fat simply by 5-6 small meals a day and dropping the donut.

    Go to and search through their articles, there are seriously like thousands of articles on everything under the sun Im sure you will find what your looking for there.
  9. cassidy

    cassidy Orange Belt

    Nov 22, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Working out in the morning on a empty stomach will burn three times as much fat as any other time of the day. Yes you are in a fasting mode and that is the main reason. Bodybuilders and fitness competitors do it in the morning for a reason. The only way you have to worry about loosing muscle from it is if you are already below 6% bodyfat. Consider this carbs are energy and if you eat before the cardio, then all you are burning off is the food. Not the fat. However eating directly after is very benificial and neccesary to replace lost amino acids ,blood glycogen levels, so on and so forth. The nutrients will be absorbed at a very high rate. Also remimber that working out for over a hour after having fasted all night will become catabolic and possibly and I say possibly over time cause you to loose muscle. :asian:
  10. jfarnsworth

    jfarnsworth Grandmaster

    • Martial Talk Alumni
    Mar 17, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    N.C. Ohio
    You just have to drink more water. Water is an absolute must whether your on a diet or not. Water and a lot more water. Flush your body with WATER.
  11. white belt

    white belt Brown Belt

    Nov 30, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    midwest USA
    Combine J.Farnsworth and Cassidy's posts. It works for me when I am "cutting up".

    white belt123

Share This Page