What does fasting cardio entail?
Fasting cardio is the idea of working out in a fasted state. In other words, it means working out on an empty stomach.
The state when your body is not digesting food usually happens first thing in the morning or late at night. However, if you are following an intermittent fasting regime, it can also occur during the day.
Admirers of fasted cardio advocate that the process boosts the body’s fat-burning capacity. However, you may be wondering whether exercising on a bare stomach is actually smart or a mere trendy craze.
Fasted Cardio Exercises: Learning the fundamentals
Sports medicine specialists suggest that for fasted cardio to work effectively, it usually takes eight to twelve hours of being in a fasted state.
However other key factors include:
- How effectively the digestive system works and;
- The amount of food you had during your last mealtime. For example, if you ate beef in your last meal, it could take much longer than the twelve hours to have it digested.
As you fast for eight to twelve hours, glycogen reserves deplete in your body forcing your body to use other sources of energy, such as fat reserves.
For people who have been working out steadily, fasted cardio could be useful in encouraging the body to assist in burning persistent fat which has not gone away despite regular efforts.
Is it safe to engage in exercise while fasting?
For the most part, cardio workouts while fasting are safe.
If you are in otherwise good health, going for short-term steady-state fasting sessions could fit well in your regime. Long-term fasted cardio, on the other hand, could be too much for your body because of the potential side effects such as low blood sugar or dehydration. You may also experience other symptoms such as lightheadedness, quivering, and faintness.
That is why; it is advisable to consult with your physician about whether fasted cardio is a good fit for your body.
The rewards of fasted cardio
Fasted cardio may be beneficial for you if your first priority is reducing your body’s fat proportion and your habitual routine is low-to-moderate strength exercise. There is evidence suggesting that you can get better results while working out in a fasted state.
That is simply your system does not have the nutrients circulating around the body to consume for energy. Research showed that people who ran a treadmill when hungry burnt far greater fat compared to participants who had breakfast beforehand.
Medical scientists confirm that in the absence of food, the body must seek energy from elsewhere, such as from fat reserves.
Comparing results of fasted cardio with fed cardio
Experts suggest that fasted cardio could work in getting the body to burn persistent fat for people who have been working out frequently. Some people try to substitute food with fasting supplements – even if some supplements might be better than others, you need to collect enough callories from food.
Going on an empty stomach might feel lethargic at first. However, with time, the body is better to acclimatize to burning fat for energy.
Scientists suggest it may be beneficial if you work for longer than thirty minutes at a time, about four times one week. An example of such a workout is endurance running.
Further studies on fasted cardio
A study conducted in the Applied Physiology Journal compared the workout effectiveness of fasting individuals versus people who consumed their meals before workouts. After 6 weeks, they discovered people who trained while fasting exhibited more efficiency in their strength exercises than those who fed themselves before training.
A standard suggestion is to work out after at least thirty minutes before a snack meal such as one banana or a toast with a spread of butter. Most people prefer to skip a meal before a workout because eating a heavy meal before working in the gym could cause gastrointestinal distress.
The Cons of Fasted Cardio
Fasted cardio and its benefits may sound encouraging; however it’s wise to make a note: Though the body may use the fat reserves in the adipose tissue (fat present under the skin a.k.a. subcutaneous fat) for energy, it does not distinguish the energy source.
In other words, should the need arise; your body will use your muscle tissue for energy. You wouldn’t want that, would you?
To sum it up
Cardio workouts, overall, are effective workouts for the preservation of your heart and cardiovascular system. Despite diet being an important aspect of your health regime, cardio can also help you achieve your health goals faster.
Given the data and insights on the metabolic effect of fasting is still under the cloud, fasting cardio may still suit your specific lifestyle if you are otherwise healthy and do not have underlying medical conditions.
On the safe side, you should consult with your registered medical practitioner for advice and consultation regarding your cardio workouts.