Friday, October 9 , 2015, 3:18 am | Fair 67º

Fun and Fit: Should You Eat Breakfast Before or After Exercising?

It's generally better to eat first, but what matters is what works best for your body

By Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams, MA, Noozhawk Columnists |

Hey, Fun and Fit: I recently started exercising for 30 minutes in the morning (after a 30-year layoff). My previous morning routine revolved around eating and coffee. I’m loathe to give them up. Is it better to exercise first, on an empty stomach, or does it really matter? — Mike, Santa Ynez

Kymberly: Thirty minutes of exercise times 30 years of a hiatus equals eat breakfast!

Yes, eating relative to exercise really matters. Breaking a fast also matters. Science says many things (so does my sister; have you heard our radio show?): “Eat first so you have energy to maintain intensity”; “eat at least four hours prior to exercise,” which means getting up at an hour known only to nocturnal animals, graveyard shift workers and vampires (the “real” ones as in Twilight, not the fake ones elsewhere); “eat after working out when your metabolism is revved up and digests food better.”

What’s a person to do? Call FunandFitBusters (well, we are not busters per se, but sisters).

What it comes down to is what works best for your body. Do you feel more energized and ready to work out when you have some brekkie in you, or do you feel weighed down and lethargic if you eat first? Who cares what statistics and general averages say when your body is having a different conversation.

For me, I have to eat first or I drag and feel lightheaded. For you, it sounds as though you should keep up the (ahem, healthy) eating then attack the day in a fitnessy way.

Alexandra: I was laughing because when I first read your question I thought you were asking if we thought you should give up eating! Hahahaha. No. Just give up eating fake food. Anything covered in sprinkles or glaze is probably fake food! To cheer you up, click here for a post we did that gives you some food suggestions.

Mutant sugar colorful sprinkle magic doughnuts.
Mutant sugar colorful sprinkle magic doughnuts.

K: More good news — you don’t even have to give up wake-up coffee as it has beneficial properties. You might have to give up your record of 30 years avoiding — gasp! — exercise. But then you might also give up the extra weight and health risks. Woo hoo!

— Identical twins and fitness pros Kymberly Williams-Evans and Alexandra Williams have been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Q and A with K and A. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UCSB for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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