The Truth About Fasted Cardio

The Truth About Fasted Cardio
Is it really necessary for fat loss?

One question I get asked a lot about is in regards to fasted cardio in the morning. (Or, for those who follow an intermittent fasting eating style, doing cardio while in the fasted state. )

Is it really the best way to burn off fat?

My answer is YES. And NO.

Nothing is simple when it comes to the physiology and biochemistry of the human body, especially when you throw in exercise on top of normal daily function. Research does in fact actually show that when you do cardio fasted in the morning you burn more fat. A recent study from the UK published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that when subjects were fasted when they did morning cardio they burned 20% more fat than when they had a meal before the cardio. Several earlier studies show similar results.

So yes, you do burn more fat when you do fasted cardio. The reason for this is that after you've been fasting overnight while you sleep, your body conserves the precious carb stores it has because glucose (what blood sugar is composed of) is the primary fuel for the nervous system. During the night your body moves toward burning more fat. However, it also moves toward breaking down more muscle protein and converting the amino acids into glucose for fuel. So when you do cardio in the morning before eating anything, your body is forced to burn more fat for fuel. But it's also burning up more muscle protein. That's not a huge problem as long as you consume a fast-digesting protein like whey (along with some casein protein, of course) after the cardio to replenish the lost aminos and rebuild back the muscle protein that was broken down. You can see why this is not ideal if gaining muscle mass is your primary goal.

One problem with the aforementioned...

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