The Benefits Of Fasted Cardio

The fasted cardio debate has long been one of the more popular and passionate arguments of our time. Since bodybuilders and physique enthusiasts are always looking for a way to sharpen and tighten their physiques, it makes sense that there would interest in a potentially powerful time frame. What started as bodybuilding lore has taken a whole new life in recent years. It’s my goal,with both part I and the negatives of fasted cardio, to provide a negative and positive look into what may hold the key for shedding stomach fat.


Let’s start with the positive advantages of doing fasted cardio.

Benefit # 1:  Morning cardio may have the greatest ability to increase burning free fatty acids as a fuel source. Most people make the mistake of arguing for fasted cardio since “you’re in a glycogen depleted state”. Not really. Unless you go to bed in such a depleted state, you’re not going to wake up in one. Close to 100% of energy use during sleep comes from fatty acids.

So most bodybuilding literature talks about the ability to burn carbohydrates greater when you do fasted cardio, that simply isn’t true. Now since fat is our primary energy source when we’re sleeping, we’ll likely have more free fatty acids floating around which makes them easier to be burned.

Benefit # 2: More glycogen is actually spared when fasted cardio is done because of the availability of free fatty acids. Now if you’re talking about doing interval training fasted then that’s a different story but no one is talking about that.

Benefit # 3: You may actually be able to eat more carbohydrates while dieting if you perform fasted cardio. Bodybuilders often talk about the advantages of the post contest rebound. They have dieted for X weeks so their insulin sensitivity is high and when they go back to consuming more calories post contest they end up growing pretty quickly. If we perform fasted cardio we’re already in a fasted state, agreed?  Insulin sensitivity is high in a fasted muscle, we know that from all of the recent research done on fasting.

Morning cardio could potentially allow you to increase your ability to store carbohydrates in the muscle instead of bodyfat. If insulin sensitvity is high then the carbs are going to be pushed to refill muscle glycogen. Which means that a dieting individual can consume more carbs and someone looking to gain muscle can increase their ability to consume carbs without gaining bodyfat.

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  1. Morning cardio on an empty stomach worked well for my physique but not for my overall health. I looked good but felt depleted, and this carried on throughtout my day. I’ve come to learn that I need cals in the system to maximize my workouts AND enjoy them.

    Thanks for sharing your insight.


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