Alison’s Fitness & Wellness Corner – Fasted Cardio
Alison’s Fitness & Wellness Corner
I decided to touch on this topic as a follow through on the last article “Why you should not under-eat and over-exercise” … ~ Thank you Jacqui for your inbox message asking me what I thought about the topic of Fasted Cardio.
You’ve probably read about fasted cardio a thousand times on the internet or in various publications. That is mostly because a vast majority of leanest physique athletes swear by the practice, as do those who have lost a lot of weight. Basically, the theory of thought is that, in the absence of food to use as fuel, means the body must go on the hunt for alternative sources, in this case, body fat, during the workout and subsequent recovery. But, does the evidence that fasted cardio works hold up to the available science of it? That’s the question.
WHAT IS FASTED CARDIO?
Fasted cardio is the practice of performing cardio on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning.
WHAT THEY CLAIM
Those who adhere to fasted cardio regimes report achieving lower body fat levels while retaining more muscle mass. Not to mention, a point of note is that training on an empty stomach can make you feel leaner psychologically.
WHAT SCIENCE CLAIMS
In a study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, they compared fat-loss results between two groups of hard-training athletes, one of which was fed beforehand, while the other trained on an empty stomach. There was NO difference in fat loss between the two groups. Furthermore, an earlier study found that a light pre-workout meal was actually preferable to fasted cardio for greater fat utilisation.
Your everyday diet is what dictates fat loss. Simple as that 😉
I personally practice fasted cardio, not with intention, but because my first class is a 5.15 am, this does not lend itself to eating anything beforehand.
I feel that any exercise performed early morning under 60 minutes is perfectly fine on an empty stomach as long as it is low to medium intensity and that you are consciously drinking water as you do. You will soon know if you have pushed your boundaries as you will feel weak. A lot has to do with what you ate the night before as well. There are many who subscribe to not eating carbohydrates at night, this is fine, but if you intend to do a fasted workout the morning after, you will definitely feel weak at some point and won’t be able to give the workout your best.
My advice fasted cardio is fine as long as it remains between 30 to 45minutes first thing in the morning. And, if you do eat something, keep it light, like a banana at least 30 to 60 minutes prior to exercising. This gives your body ample time to digest it.
MY FAVOURITE FORMS OF CALORIE-TORCHING FASTED CARDIO
30 to 40 Minute Jog/ Run ~ keeping your heart rate minimum 70% of Max Heart Rate – this all depends on how fit you are currently.
40 Minutes Cross-training
45 Minute Spin Class
You can pick any form of cardio that you like – the cross trainer, rower, an aerobics/ step class, it doesn’t matter. What is important, is the intensity you do it at and the time you do it in.
Founder/Owner ~ Body by Alison Caroline and Alison Caroline Institute