Should you do fasted cardio?
Thinking about trying fasted cardio but not sure whether it's for you? Read on.
Performing low-intensity aerobic exercise in a fasted state can advance long-term performance and weight loss improvements.
Why you would: Ordinarily exercise uses a combination of glycogen (carbohydrates) and fat as fuel, but according to a recent study published in Sports Medicine, exercising in a fasted or glycogen-depleted state causes adaptations in the body’s fat-oxidising abilities, causing the body to use fat for fuel.
Why you wouldn’t: You’re not going to hit the intensities to stimulate pro-fat burning effects such as excessive post-esercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) on no food. “To lose fat there are more appropriate mindsets for training and eating,” says exercise physiologist personal trainer Jodie Hopkins (yourlifeyourbody.com.au). “If you are fuelled before your morning training you get more bang for your buck: better performance, more enjoyment and better fuel source activation.”
Use it: If you’re keen to try fasted workouts, perform them at low absolute intensity over an extended period, the study says. To avoid hitting the wall early, down a carb-free caffeinated drink before you start.
NEXT: Learn how to improve your cardio fitness here.