Fasted cardio is any kind of cardiovascular exercise done in a fasted state (an empty stomach). Fasted cardio has been around for an incredibly long time as a fat loss tool that has just recently started to get popular once again. Athletes love adding fasted cardio to their workout regime whenever they are trying to cut fat and lean out because the right kind and right amount (i’ll get to specifics in bit) of fasted cardio help you not only lose body fat, but do so while also maintaining your current muscles. Keep in mind that fasted cardio is an enhancer to an already clean diet and one should also not expect to make “gains” in the period of time that fasted cardio is being implemented to someones regimen.
A study published by the “British Journal of Nutrition” discovered that subjects who fasted during morning cardio burned up to 20% more fat throughout the day. It is proved to be efficient because when you sleep, your body fasts over night and conserves the carbohydrate stores allowing for your body to convert fat to fuel while doing your fasted cardio workout. At night your body also breaks down amino acids into glucose opening up a second type of fuel source.
Food as well all know gets broken down to usable molecules that get released into your blood stream. Of those molecules, insulin, serves as the mover of other molecules into your cells. Once insulin is absorbed because the digestion process has been completed, insulin levels drop and your body enters into the fasted state telling your body to use fat as fuel. Insulin also prevents the breakdown of fatty acids. So basically, the higher the insulin levels, the less usage of fat for energy. In the image you can see the period where insulin either promotes or impairs fat loss. As can be seen, the period in which we are sleeping is where the most fat loss occurs. Imagine waking up an immediately doing 30 minute of cardio to enhance that period of fat loss?
Personally, whenever I do choose to do fasted cardio it is no more or no less than 30 minute of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Why only 30 minutes? Because your body is in a fasted state, more than 30 minutes usually leads to your body using your muscles as an alternative energy source. Because I want to lose fat and maintain my muscle mass, I do 30 minutes. Why do I choose HIIT? HIIT workouts have been proven to set you up for more fat burn throughout the day. Compared to slow and steady cardio like what gets done on the elliptical or treadmills, HIIT cardio burns double the amount of fat in the same amount of time. In essence, you get more bang for your buck. Next week I plan on going more in depth about HIIT workouts.
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