What Everyone Needs to Know About Fasted Cardio

There is a lot of discussion about what is the optimal time to perform aerobics in order to burn the maximum amount of fat. Most of the debate focuses on whether you should perform cardio in the morning, just after waking up.

In short, the workout holds true to its name. It involves doing intense cardio on an empty stomach. It doesn’t mean that you have to fast for days on end in order to get an effective workout, but it does mean that your stomach should be empty when you do it.
Some say that this drastically increases the amount of fat used while others point out that this can result in muscle loss especially if performed in a complete fasting state. 
Some People choose to do it first thing in the morning after they wake up. If working out in the evening is better for you, you can still do an effective routine that involves fasted cardio. It just means that you have to take care not to eat for several hours beforehand.

The Benefits of Fasted Cardio

Reasons Why Fasted Cardio Should Become Your New Workout

There are a ton of benefits that come with doing any cardio workout, and this particular version is no different. The many benefits include:

  • Feeling better and looking better while simultaneously having the energy and the physical stamina to maintain a busy schedule.
  • In addition, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy improved health. It has long been understood that having a good cardio routine as part of your workout can improve heart and lung health while simultaneously reducing blood pressure, relieving stress and possibly even staving off other diseases like cancer. It also helps you keep your blood sugar in check, something that is vitally important, especially if you are prone to developing diabetes.
  • Increased fat burning in stubborn body parts, especially if combined with certain supplements is ideal to lose those last 5 kg of body fat.
  • The release of endorphins in the body that provides greater vitality and sense of well-being throughout the day.
  • Increased reduction of total fat

Burn Fat Faster

You probably already know that a good cardio workout can do wonders for your body, but you might still be asking yourself why fasted cardio is so much better. It all comes down to forcing the body to work harder. The reason that this particular type of workout burns fat so much faster and more effectively than regular cardio is because it is forcing the body to work harder in order to allow you to reach those energy levels that are required for an intense cardio workout.

Before eating, in the early morning, your muscle glycogen levels (stored carbohydrates)are low. If you have dinner at 10 pm and have breakfast at 7 am, your body spends 9 hours without taking any food.During this overnight fast of 9 hours, glycogen levels slowly give your body the glucose needed for various bodily functions that occur, even while you sleep

As a result, you wake up in the morning with depleted glycogen levels and reduced blood sugar. This is the optimal time of the day to burn fat instead of carbohydrates. Some studies have suggested that up to 300% more fat is burned when doing cardio in a fasted state.

At the same time, your body is also reaching deep into its reserves to allow you to maintain that level of energy. When you are doing this on an empty stomach, it forces the body to use fat stores that already exist and then break them down for energy. That is what allows you to burn fat at a much faster pace than you would if you did regular cardio only a couple of hours after eating.

Fasted Cardio-Cardio Ideas

Disadvantages of fasted cardio

  • It is true that morning fasted aerobic exercise promotes fat mobilization, but this is accompanied by a high risk of catabolism, or what is the same, loss of muscle mass because of levels of the cortisol hormone which are higher in the morning, this in combination with cardiovascular exercise in a fasted state makes the body use amino acids as fuel which might cause muscle loss.
  • Reduced performance during exercises in some cases due to the lack of energy.
  • Since there is a clear risk of fainting and hypoglycemia, cardio in a fasted state is absolutely contraindicated in some people.
    In some individuals, some problems may arise concerning the practice of this type of training because it involves an adaptation and synchronization with sleep schedules.

Pushing Through Challenges and Safety Measures

What Everyone Needs to Know About Fasted Cardio

Without a doubt, cardio in a fasted state is one of the most effective types of workouts that you can enjoy, but bear in mind that this is a  high-intensity  exercise, so we highly recommend cycling your training and continue to perform your regular cardio.This offers the benefit of adding variety to your aerobic routine.Remember that not everybody has the same response to training, so the take-home message here is that what works for you might not work for others and vice versa. Thus, there are a lot of determining factors  such as genetics and body types.

If doing cardio in the morning on an empty stomach is not an option for you then the next best thing would be to do it immediately after weight training.Weightlifting is an anaerobic exercise, and therefore, it also reduces muscle glycogen. That’s why after weight training, a cardio workout has a similar effect as performing cardio in the morning in a fasted state.

If you still want to incorporate fasted Cardio in your workout schedule don’t wait more than 15 minutes from the time you wake up, and keep it at a low 50-75 percent intensity where you can hold a conversation and don’t forget to replenish those depleted energy reserves with some protein and complex carbs after you have completed the workout.

Another thing to consider is that you don’t  have to starve in order to do this type of exercise.Adding some protein shake, or just a cup of coffee before training will give you some extra strength and stimulus that would definitively help you increase your energy and performance and still maintain the effect of cardio on an empty stomach.

Summary

One of the great things about a cardio routine is that it provides you with the opportunity to push through challenges like you have never been able to do before. Sometimes, you find yourself in a situation where you are not able to lose those pesky last 5 or 10 pounds or you feel like your workout has plateaued in general. When you are capable of doing an intense cardio workout, your body is better able to push through these types of challenges and allow you to take your fitness goals to the next level.

Without a solid cardio routine, your workout is only partially complete. Eventually, this will catch up to you. A good cardio routine can help you turn things around.In reality, that is why fasted cardio is so important. It allows you to take everything that might distract you and strip it away so that you can focus on a single goal. In addition, it gives you the opportunity to redefine your body and your physical health while simultaneously improving your overall mental and emotional state.This, in turn, helps you get healthy and then stay that way.