Fasted cardio is doing cardio on an empty stomach without fuelling your body with food. Many people swear by it as an effective and quick way to lose body fat, but others don’t agree. This article talks about if you should exercise on an empty stomach or not.
- To Burn More Fat: When you opt for working out first thing in the morning without eating anything your body will rely on stored fuel that is stored fat and glycogen. It helps you burn up to 20% more fat.
- If Feels More Comfortable: Some people prefer working out on an empty stomach as they are able to perform better, so fasted cardio is a personal preference. Some people perform better without food and some with food.
- If You Have GI Stress: If eating prior to your cardio makes you feel uncomfortable during your workout, then fasted cardio is for you. Some people can’t handle a large meal or take at least two hours to digest their food, for such people fasted cardio could be a better option.
Tips to Stay Safe While Doing Fasted Cardio:
- Never perform more than 60 minutes of cardio without eating anything.
- Perform low to moderate-intensity workouts.
- Drink water and keep yourself hydrated as fasted cardio includes drinking water.
- Nutrition plays a bigger role in weight loss or gains in comparison to the timings of your workouts, so keep the focus on your diet and overall lifestyle along with workouts.
You Should Skip It:
- If you are trying to gain muscle mass: There is a difference between preserving muscle mass and adding muscle mass. If you are in an overall calorie deficit but are using your muscles and eating adequate protein, then your muscle mass will be protected. If you train too much for too long while fasting, then your body starts breaking down more muscle. Post-workout meals are very important to replenish your stores and to repair muscle breakdown.
- If you perform high-intensity workouts: It becomes very important to consume a pre-workout meal if your workout demands high levels of speed and power. Glucose is the most optimum fuel source for high-intensity workouts, as it is the quickest form of energy. If you want to become more powerful, fast and strong then always train after having a pre-workout meal.
- If you have any health condition: Fasted cardio should only be performed in excellent health as it may cause low blood sugar or low blood pressure, which may put you at a risk for injury.
• Bachman, J. L., Deitrick, R. W., & Hillman, A. R. (2016). Exercising in the Fasted State Reduced 24-Hour Energy Intake in Active Male Adults. Journal of nutrition and metabolism, 2016, 1984198. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/1984198
• Blomstrand, E., & Saltin, B. (1999). Effect of muscle glycogen on glucose, lactate and amino acid metabolism during exercise and recovery in human subjects. The Journal of physiology, 514 ( Pt 1)(Pt 1), 293–302. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-7793.1999.293af.x