Not eating before exercise has to be one of the most common mistakes that uninformed exercisers make. Although I can understand why exercising on empty would seem like a smart thing to do, it’s not. Some seem to believe that working out on an empty stomach will make your body burn fat for energy. This may sound good in theory, but you’re putting your muscle at risk of being burned to fuel your workout. Now remember this, the more lean muscle mass you have the faster your metabolism is and vice verse. So If you slow down your metabolism by losing muscle, you may end up with more body fat.
On top of all that, It also takes a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise before your body goes into fat stores for energy. You see, the body turns carbohydrates you eat into glycogen and stores this glycogen in either our muscles or liver for energy. Your body will drain this source of energy for the first 20 minutes and then into your fat storage for energy. If the muscles and liver are already depleted of the right nutrients, the body will use muscle as fuel for those first 20 minutes.
Ideally you want to eat a balanced meal with protein, carbs and fats about 3 hours before you exercise and a carbohydrate rich snack 30 minutes before working out. If you exercise at 5AM and you don’t have time for a nutritious breakfast, then have a protein rich smoothie with some fruit blended into it about 20 minutes before your workout. A smoothie will give you the nutrients you need to power through your workouts with more sustained energy, and without burning up your very important lean muscle mass.