Cardio On An Empty Stomach

Cardio On An Empty Stomach


‘Fasted cardio’ is the new hot topic in the world of nutrition and fitness. It means doing cardio without having any food or before the meal.

It is like the other health trends which have both believers and disbelievers. Some people consider it as an effective and quick way to burn fat. On the other hand, some believe it as a waste of energy and time.

So here are the situations when you can try fasted cardio


Fasted cardio helps to lose more at regular cardio exercises like walking and running to make a unique role for maintaining sound health. But sometimes people have not to access the proper environment to jog outside. Treadmill solves this problem. Striding on the treadmill for a cardio session is a very effective way of burning fat.

Walking or running on a treadmill before having a meal is a popular way of losing weight and maintaining fitness. The probability of losing fat is more if you do fast cardio before striding a treadmill. But how does the fasted cardio work?

EmmieSatrazemis, RD, CSSD, nutrition director at Trifecta and a board-certified sports nutritionist states that when the body does not have excess calories or fuel from a meal or snack before the workout, then it forces the body to expense the stored fuel, i.e. glycogen and stored fat.

She highlights some studies that suggest exercising in the morning with an empty stomach. At the morning after the fasting of 8 to 12 hours during sleep, the chance of fat burning is higher up to 20 percent than the other conditions. However, there are some other studies that deny this statement.

The body feels more enjoyable during fasted cardio


You can try fasted cardio if your body feels great to do a cardio workout at an empty stomach. According to Satrazemis, some people prefer to exercise without having any food and some people prefer to do exercise after having food.

Fasted cardio is helpful for the people having GI stress


Gastrointestinal Stress is a bothering matter for some people. Issues like constipation, indigestion, diarrhea, upset stomach suffer them a lot if they consume high-fat breakfast. So, doing a workout after a meal will be a very unsolicited situation for them.

Satrazemis also states in this issue that, this unwellness can cause, especially when you have high fat and high fiber included breakfast.

If you are someone who cannot handle heavy meal, or maybe you do not have at least two hours to digest your food before a workout, then you better skip eating and do fast cardio. Or you can have something of quick energy source.

Now let’s have a look at the facts not supporting the idea of fasted cardio.

Doing cardio workout after a meal is necessary if the intention is to add muscle mass


Artemis says that, according to some researches, even in a calorie deficit, if you eat enough protein and continue to use your muscles, your muscle mass will be well protected.

When body searches for fuel, it does not desire for amino acids as much as stored fat and carbs. Satrazemis says that when the quick energy supply gets limited, and the training gets harder for a too long time, it is going to start breaking down muscles.
She also says that having a meal after a workout will compensate this muscle loss by replenishing muscles. But if you want to add more muscle other than maintaining the existing muscles, then you have to eat before exercise.

Doing high-intensity task demands fuel


According to David Chesworth, ACSM-certified personal trainer, if you are doing any high-intensity activity including high levels of speed and power, then you better do a workout after eating.

We know glucose is the fastest form of energy. It is the ideal fuel source for speed and power activities. Chesworth says that in the fasted situation, the body physiology generally does not have proper resources required for this type of workouts. So, if you want to high-intense speedy and powerful task, then do it with the fueled stomach.

Fasted cardio does not suit every health conditions


Satrazemis says that you need to consider individual health conditions. Like, if you are suffering from low blood sugar or low blood pressure, then you may feel dizziness and your risk of injury will be higher. So, you will have to own excellent health to do fasted cardio.

Some quick tips for fasted cardio


Follow some rules before trying out fasted cardio:

  • Do not do fasted cardio for more than 60 minutes
  • Staying hydrated is a must
  • Pick workouts of moderate to low-intensity

Pay heed to your body preferences. Always keep in mind that the overall lifestyle is the most vital player in weight gaining or losing. It is still better to consult a registered dietician, nutritionist, physician, or personal trainer before doing fast cardio or any other new diet or exercise.

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Last Updated on September 7, 2021

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