Why You Should Exercise Before Breakfast

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.

A new study shows that exercising in the morning before eating keeps the pounds off more effectively than exercising after breakfast, the New York Times reports.

Australian scientists put a group of 28 men on a high-fat, high-calorie diet. Then they split the group in three. Some of the men didn't exercise at all. Others ate a carb-rich breakfast before exercising in the morning and sucked down sports drinks while exercising. The last group exercised, drinking only water while working out, then ate a breakfast comparable in calories to the other groups.

The two exercising groups ran and cycled at high intensity for 60 to 90 minutes, four times a week for six weeks. At the end of the experiment, the group that didn't exercise gained the most weight (about six pounds). The group who ate, then exercised gained about half the weight the non-exercising group did. And the group who exercised first didn't gain any weight at all.

As the NY Times put it, “exercising before breakfast blunts the deleterious effects of overindulging.” So if you're a nog hog or a a pie guy, wake up early these next few weeks to get your sweat on. You might even catch Santa in action.

Read the original study.

–Erin Beresini
Photo courtesy of avlxyz on Flickr.

promo logo