Should you do fasted cardio? - Women's Health and Fitness Magazine


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 ( “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.