Fasted cardio, is performing some form of cardio shortly upon awakening on an empty stomach. It is believed, that fasted cardio has a greater ability to target and burn stubborn fat stores as apposed to eating a meal before hand.
Yes or No...
It is often debated if fasted cardio is best for fat loss. The answer to this is both yes and no. There are are pros and cons to this form of exercise depending on your goals, how you feel exercising on empty and of course, scientific research and evidence.
Yes it has been shown that fasted cardio can initially burn 20% more fat as to if you were to consume a meal before hand. However, there is also research showing that, those who had a high, fat protein meal before a workout compared to those that fasted, actually burned more calories 24 hours later.
As you perform fasted cardio shortly upon awakening, it is beneficial as you body has conserved carbohydrate stores overnight. This means, when performing your cardio, your body is more inclined to utilise fat for its primary energy source -resulting in initial fat loss. Furthermore, overnight your body breaks down amino acids into glucose. So yes, this does does burn more fat, however, if your goal is to build muscle, fasted cardio in the morning will use your amino acids for fuel which means this form of exercise is not ideal for you, and could potentially waste your muscle stores away.
However, if you consume a quick releasing protein, along with some casein post cardio, this could replenish your stores and ensure there is no muscle wastage.
HIT cardio is an exercise strategy alternating short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise.
It has been found that high intensity cardio, particularly High Intensity Interval Cardio (HIT) actually burns more calories and fat after a workout as apposed to low intensity, steady cardio. More benefits of HIT training are...
- You actually burn calories after your session (even if your doing nothing!)
- Takes less time than slow, steady cardio
- You burn twice the amount of calories initially than performing slow and steady cardio
Here is an example of a HIT cardio session and what it involves...
We need to keep in mind, that what works for you, may not work for someone else. You may enjoy fasted cardio and it may suit your schedule. However, if your goal is to build muscle, fasted cardio may not be for you.
If you prefer to fuel your body before a workout (as you may feel ill, dizzy or need the fuel source), we suggest at least consuming a protein shake, carbs or high, fat protein meal. Depending on your goals, your choice of meal totally dependent on your decision.
Overall and realistically, it is proven there is no greater benefits if you consume food or not, as there are different forms or exercise (like HIT) that can result in greater fat loss overall and further down the track.
Performing fasted cardio, totally depends on your diet, goals and how you feel exercising on an empty stomach. Do what you love, and love what you do!
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