Should you really burn fat when you exercise?

When the body is under stress, it releases free fatty acids.

Free fatty acids come from the fat that is stored in our fat cells.

Free fatty acids also increase insulin resistance quite rapidly.

Frequent free fatty acid release can cause insulin resistance.

That’s not the same as having diabetes, but it is a prerequisite for getting diabetes.

So there has been research done on athletes and the idea that athletes should be burning fat.

But, as it turns out, athletes actually burn carbohydrates or sugar, rather than fat.

In this study, they used a very ingenious design.

They gave athletes vitamin B3, niacin or nicotinic acid.

Niacin is known to stop most fat burning in the body.

This is a process called lipolysis.

Aspirin does the same thing by the way.

So they gave athletes niacin, and they had them do endurance exercises —  they evaluated their blood.

2016-05-09_17-26-13They found that athletes are actually very carbohydrate dependent.

This goes very contrary to the idea of being a fat burning machine.

The theory for people on a Palio low-carb diets is that they mostly burn fat.

They’re thought to be able to do endurance feats by burning fat rather than sugar.

It turns out that the primary fuel burned for athletes doing endurance training is actually carbohydrate.

Free-fatty acids are released as well during this process.

If you want to stop the free fatty acids, you too can take niacin or aspirin before working out.

That way you’ll burn more sugar.

You’ll stop the release of free fatty acids into your blood.

Since free fatty acids bring on insulin resistance, and you probably don’t want to have insulin resistance.

This is one of the negative effects of difficult, stressful exercise.

You can certainly counter it with intelligent supplementation.

You might also throw in some coffee before you work out.

Because coffee suppresses tryptophan being turned into serotonin in the body.

Interestingly, tryptophan can be turned into either serotonin or niacin in the body.

The body naturally produces niacin from tryptophan, or the tryptophan can be turned into serotonin instead.

Serotonin is an important stress hormone, and we generally want lower levels of serotonin.

And coffee will encourage the tryptophan to turn into helpful niacin instead.

So if you want to exercise, you might want to take vitamin B3 and drink some coffee.

And make sure you have plenty of carbohydrates.



Altering fatty acid availability does not impair prolonged, continuous running to fatigue: evidence for carbohydrate dependence

See this for more on Burning Fat and see more on Diet and Exercise, and for more information see effects of Healthy living.