Question: I heard a few years ago that if you exercise (such as biking or aerobics, etc.) in the morning before eating, your body actually starts to use up your muscle or lean mass instead of body fat. Is this true? Thanks, Diane
Answer: Diane, Your body will only use up your lean mass if its totally depleted of glycogen, which is the carbohydrate form of energy stored in your muscles. If there's no glycogen, the body then breaks down the muscles' protein for energy. People who reach glycogen depletion do so through intentionally eliminating carbohydrates from their diet, or from great exertions, such as running a marathon, but only temporarily. If you exercise in the morning before eating, you can replenish your glycogen stores afterwards by eating a balanced breakfast.
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