The only chance I have to run is first thing in the morning. I run on an empty stomach. Is this sabotaging my weight loss goals? It would be almost impossible for me to wake up any earlier to eat something, digest, run and make it to work on time. Any thoughts on this? Or can someone recommend a fast digesting food that might work for me?
I run on an empty stomach for most of my runs, but weight loss is not my goal (although it should be). For runs over 5 miles I snack on a honey stinger waffle, its about 150 calories and is just enough to give me some energy ans stop my stomach from growling. Its easy to digest and very tasty. http://shop.honeystinger.com/products/Honey-Organic-Stinger-Waffle.html
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I'm not sure running on an empty stomach in the morning is a bad thing. I suppose it depends how far you're going and how hard you push. If you don't run hard you could probably get away with a bagel or bowl of oat meal. Side stitches (cramps) kick in if you run hard too soon after eating.
Anyway, if you eat after your run you should be fine. If you're trying to lose weight, you just need to burn more calories than you take in. Here's a nifty little calculator that'll tell you what you're burning for calories.. http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/4/4_1/94.shtml
I'm trying to drop 10 pounds and this little calculator helps a lot.
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When I had to run early in the morning, I always ran on an empty stomach. Just a little water before I was out the door. This included long runs of up to 20 miles and hard tempo runs. I experienced no adverse affects. I wasn't (and don't) run to lose weight.
I think if you aren't hungry, you are fine.
Running on an empty stomach is not a bad thing. When I started running, i would always, and still run on an empty stomach. Although, i do take slow digesting protein the night before, and it's fuel for the next morning. But as long as you're hydrated, that's most important.
I also get up at O'Dark 30 and can't possibly wake up any early in order to eat before my runs.
So the night before I make sure I have intaked plenty of fluids to prevent cramping.
If it's going to be a long run, I drink Brew Gu the night before, and take one with me for the ½ way point. (Sometimes I bring some Chomps or Gu's)
I have a problem with lack of energy and getting headaches afterward if I'm not properly hydrated.
The key is to be hydrated.
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As long as you don't sacrifice performance and have no adverse GI symptoms you should be fine. Your post workout meal even if you are trying to lose weight should be 3 or 4 to 1 carbohydrate to protein ratio with little fat within an hour for maximum recovery. For weight loss don't eat more calories in this meal than you just burned. For weight loss with activity keep your calories at about 10 per pound of body weight.
If you are looking to lose weight this is actually a good idea. You have burned off your carb stores and will have to burn fat. Even better would be to have a cup of coffee first to ramp up fat burning.
Depending on the length of the run, I'll often run on an empty stomach. Usually, the cutoff is around an hour. More than an hour and I'll make sure I eat before I head out.
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