The concept of “fasted cardio” has become increasingly popular among fitness enthusiasts, especially bodybuilders and fitness models preparing for a competition or photo shoot. But can it actually benefit the non-competitive gym goers? This has been an ongoing debate, because in theory, it crushes the one thing we have had ingrained in our heads since we were young and in gym class: Don’t exercise on an empty stomach. Is the old adage true? And if not, what exactly are the pros and cons of fasted cardio?
Here’s a brief summary for you:
- With glycogen and insulin levels low in the morning on an empty stomach, your body can metabolize fat at a higher rate than if you had food in your system.
- Can help get rid of stubborn areas where it’s harder to lose fat
- Cardio workouts can be shorter due to your fasted state.
- Most effective for people with already low body fat percentages
- Could have side effects such as nausea or dizziness
- No hard scientific evidence that has solidified fasted cardio as being more beneficial than non-fasted or “fueled”
- You may have less energy during your workouts because of the calorie-depleted state you are in.
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Now that you know the facts, what this really comes down to is whether or not you are comfortable giving fasted cardio a shot and seeing if it works for YOU! After all, everybody and every body is different. Just always keep in mind that food is fuel. If you are consuming the right kinds of calories each day and following a healthy diet/workout regimen, there’s no way you won’t see results, with or without fasted cardio. At the end of the day, any cardio is better than no cardio, right?