A new study published in the American Journal of Physiology: Endocrinology and Metabolism, looked at how breakfast before exercise may actually activate or “prime” the body to metabolize carbohydrates. It also indicated that eating breakfast before exercise may actually help rapidly digest subsequent meals post-workout.
Study looked at the effect of eating breakfast versus overnight fasting
The study looked at the effect of eating breakfast versus overnight fasting before an hour’s worth of morning cycling. The volunteers ate breakfast of porridge made with milk 2 hours before cycling for 1 hour. This was compared to morning cycling while still in a fasting state.
Blood glucose and muscle glycogen levels measured pre and post workout
The blood glucose levels and muscle glycogen levels of 12 participants were taken pre and post exercise. All participants were male.
The findings were that eating breakfast increased the metabolic rate during exercise, as well as metabolism of digested food after exercise.
First study to look at how breakfast impacts our response to meals post exercise
The researchers commented that this is the first study to look at the ways that breakfast impacts our response to meals after exercise.
Eating breakfast increased carbohydrate burning during exercise, but that’s not all
It was also seen that eating breakfast increased carbohydrate burning during exercise, though this was not simply the carbohydrates from the breakfast. There was also seen an increase in carbohydrate metabolism coming from muscle glycogen. The researchers surmised that this may account for why there is often a more rapid clearance of blood sugar after lunch when breakfast was consumed before a morning workout.
The study indicates that by eating breakfast before exercise, the body is ‘primed’ to store nutrients when subsequent meals are consumed.
Interesting aspect of this research
An interesting aspect of this research demonstrates how eating breakfast changes metabolism throughout the day, something that is typically not accounted for when metabolic studies are conducted on fasting individuals. These fasting readings may not be as reliable as previously thought due to the nature of how being fed affects metabolism. In other words, one of the authors’ explains: “Whilst fasting prior to laboratory trials is common in order to control for baseline metabolic status, these conditions may preclude the application of findings to situations most representative of daily living, because most people are not fasted during the day.”
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Razi Berry is the founder and publisher of the journal Naturopathic Doctor News & Review that has been in print since 2005 and the premier consumer-faced website of naturopathic medicine, NaturalPath. She is the host of The Natural Cancer Prevention Summit and The Heart Revolution-Heal, Empower and Follow Your Heart, and the popular 10 week Sugar Free Summer program. From a near death experience as a young girl that healed her failing heart, to later overcoming infertility and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia through naturopathic medicine, Razi has lived the mind/body healing paradigm. Her projects uniquely capture the tradition and philosophy of naturopathy: The healing power of nature, the vital life force in every living thing and the undeniable role that science and mind/body medicine have in creating health and overcoming dis-ease. Follow Razi on Facebook at Razi Berry and join us at Love is Medicine to explore the convergence of love and health.