You can’t manage a huge meal or don’t have at least a couple of hours to digest it. Thus, you could be better off taking anything with a short energy source or hitting the gym. Perhaps, you are performing fasted Cardio without even realizing it!
You may not be able to eat before a run because of your busy schedule or because you simply cannot with an empty stomach. However, you may have also heard about the benefits of fasting cardio for weight reduction and athletic performance. So, is it necessary to run on an empty belly at all times?
In this article, you will get a brief rundown on what fasted Cardio is and precisely for whom fasted Cardio is the best option.
What Is “Fasted Cardio?”
Fasted Cardio boosts your heartbeat without indulging in a before-workout snack or meal. Fasted cardio followers believe that this regimen increases fat-burning efficiency. However, it’s reasonable to ask if working out while fasting is a decent idea or merely a gimmick that seems legit to you.
How Does Fasted Cardio Works?
When you consume food, it breaks down into molecules released into your bloodstream to give energy. In addition, insulin secrets, and its function is to transport these molecules into our blood cells.
When the body continues digesting and absorbing food and insulin levels remain up, it is in a postprandial state.
The hormone insulin level drops to a baseline as soon as the body has digested and absorbed the nutrients. Thus, the body enters a post-absorptive or fasting state. Larger meals (such as two slices of pizza) contain a combination of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and fiber that you typically digest over five hours. The insulin level in your body will be at its peak during this period.
But, if you have a smaller or lighter meal, for example, a single spoonful of whey protein), your sugar levels will return to normal in just a few hours. And similar effects are produced by carbohydrates. Thirty-five grams of sugar is enough to elevate insulin levels beyond the baseline for several hours. Your body cycles between these fed and fasting stages many times each day. Thus, you must time your workouts in a post-absorptive condition for proper fasted cardio.
The Benefits of “Fasted Cardio”
The concept behind fasting cardio is that suppose you are fasting overnight and exercise is the first thing early morning. Your body is deprived of glucose (our body’s primary energy source) and so will instead utilize stored fat as fuel. There are mixed findings regarding the usefulness of this approach.
In several studies, fasting exercise increases metabolic performance well after a workout. Nonetheless, the same study found that eating before the session improves the results of extended aerobic training. Although further research is necessary to come to definitive conclusions, fasting cardio can provide the following benefits:
- Fasted Cardio eliminates the need to prepare, consume, and absorb a meal before working out.
- If you take part in intermittent fasting, the fasted Cardio doesn’t restrict you from the workout on an empty stomach.
- Suppose you work better out on an empty stomach. In that case, fasting cardio might be an excellent alternative. And it is terrific if you have a sensitive stomach and feel more energized without a meal.
Fasted Cardio to Lose Weight
Fasted Cardio can be beneficial if your ultimate aim is to reduce body fat ratio and your usual cardio routine is low-moderate intensity. According to Dr. Trentacosta, “Research does support that you will burn fat more compared to when you run in the ‘fasted’ state than the time your body does not have circulating nutrients to use for energy.” For example, a study revealed that while people run on treadmills while fasting, they burn 20% more body fat than others.
Why? Dr. Trentacosta emphasizes that without an accessible energy source, the body must hunt elsewhere for fuel. Allen Conrad, B.S., D.C., C.S.C.S., a chiropractor and certified strength coach, concurs: “Fasted cardio can be useful in helping the body burn resistant fat in those who have been exercising daily for a time.” Typically, exercise rookies should not attempt it. He argues that people who have exercised for a time understand their limitations.
However, the potential advantages of fasting cardio are not restricted to changes in body composition. While jogging empty may make you sluggish, you will adjust to burning fat more as fuel as time passes. Conrad suggests this can be helpful if you exercise for half an hour or more, at least four times a week.
A study released for the Journal of Applied Physiology compared fasting individuals with non-fasting individuals over six weeks. The revelations are while exercising at a similar intensity. Those who exercised in the fasted condition improved their endurance workout performance more than those who had food before training.
Disadvantages Of Fasted Cardios
While reducing body fat may be an advantage of fasting cardio, it is necessary to be aware of some of the possible downsides of this diet and fitness strategy: The same 2012 study examined the efficiency of fasting in athletes during Ramadan. The study revealed that fasting individuals suffered some unfavorable side effects. These include dehydration and decreased renal function. Usually, that is not the case for people who drink ample water while fasting.
A 2011 study published in the Strength and Conditioning Journal indicated that fasting exercise might result in protein loss. The research participants lost protein and muscle mass throughout their cycling workouts. Likewise, fasting cardio may not result in more extended training. If endurance exercises like marathon training are the goal, fasting cardio may not be the most incredible option. The same 2018 study showed that meals before aerobic exercise might result in a prolonged endurance aerobic session.
Fasted or not, Cardio is beneficial for the body. And while diet is essential for weight reduction, Fasted Cardio can also help you achieve your weight loss goals.
You may also like to read: The Ultimate List Of Cardio Exercises For Every Personality And Fitness Level