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Winner: When You Exercise on a Full Stomach
Food is fuel, and while hitting the gym right after eating sets yourself up for a food coma, having some (at least partially) digested food in your system means your muscles are stocked with the glycogen they need to work their best, says Jessica Matthews, MS, assistant professor of exercise science at Miramar College. Case in point: In one International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism study, exercisers who ate breakfast before working enjoyed significantly higher VO2 (a measure of energy expenditure) and fat-burn rates compared to those who hadn't eaten breakfast before exercising. The best part? The calorie-torching edge lasted for a full 24 hours after working out.