What is fasted cardio?
Should you do it?
Does cardio on an empty stomach really produce better results?
A recent study  has sought to find out.
Researchers compared fat metabolism between a group of individuals that performed cardiovascular exercise in a fasted state versus those who trained in a fed state.
They compared the effect on oxygen consumption (VO2) and lipid/fat utilization, which was estimated by the respiratory-exchange ratio (RER).
The results were that VO2 was significantly higher, and RER was significantly lower, in the FED group, which indicates greater fat utilization.
The difference was still significant 24 hours after exercise.
The researchers conclude,
“…that when moderate endurance exercise is done to lose body fat, fasting before exercise does not enhance lipid utilization; rather, physical activity after a light meal is advisable.”
So from this study at least it seems that another golden rule in the bodybuilding world ain’t so golden.
Cardio in the morning on an empty stomach would appear NOT to produce better fat loss, and in fact may hinder your progress.
Any of you Total Six Pack Abs buyers out there know that cardio is recommended in a fed state after your weight training on the program. I have always felt this to be the ideal time after many years of experience getting cut.
Train With Intensity!
 Exercising fasting or fed to enhance fat loss? Influence of food intake on respiratory ratio and excess postexercise oxygen consumption after a bout of endurance training. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2011 Feb;21(1):48-54. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21411835
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Interesting article but is this not a case of “whatever works best for the individual”? I’ve gone through many phases of trying different types of cardio. I find tabata to work better than any. Next would be fasted, morning cardio and least effective has been doing cardio in the evening after a meal. I don’t do a lot of cardio anymore, anyway after reading TSPA but this is my experience with it.
Be that as it may, some of us can only work out early in the a.m. before breakfast and work. What would you advise? Would eating a small piece of food or protein shake be enough to qualify for the fed state?
Notice it says moderate exercise though. Its better to be on an empty stomach if your doing high intensity cardio exercises.
Would love to hear an answer to Kris’s question
Just wondering…maybe it burns the same, but i’ve read something saying that if you eat before cardio you burn that food(calories/fat). So in my view point if you are burning the food you ate you are spiining in the same place.
Good article – to confirm when to do cardio – but coming from medline – a study with only 8 participants is hardly considered a significant study.
That’s what I do Kris………….If I have to train first thing in the morning, I’ll ingest a scoop of protein about thirty minutes before I actually hit the weights.
I think it’s more complicated. Unfortunatly I don’t have scientific argument but only my own experience. I know that when it’s cold outside (around 0 Celsius degree or less) I love to do a short run (15-25 minutes) when I get up without eating any food and I am not bothered by the cold and my articulation feel great (I had some articulation issues in the past). It’s like that that I have the best result (performance, blood flow and I think as a consequence higher calories consumptions).
@Kris. Yes or at the very least take at least 10g BCAAs if you can’t get any food before the workout. But a shake with P/C/F combo will work if you have time. Do any cardio AFTER weight training, not before.
I’m a big believer in science. I’m also a big believer in doing something and seeing how your body responds. Studies like this may scare you off from doing morning cardio. But until you try it, how can you be sure what effect it’ll have? Here’s something else to consider. Many people don’t have the option of working out during their lunch hour or in the evenings. For those people, the morning is their only option. Sure, they could eat a meal, wait a half hour, work out, and then have another meal. But again, who has that much time in the morning. Fasted morning cardio is sometimes a person’s only option. My personal experience with morning cardio has been that I’d lose a great deal of fat. As far as muscle was concerned, whether I lost any had more to do with my diet and whether I was training with heavy weights.
Thanks for this. I’ve been into Intermittent Fasting, and thus doing my training after ingesting 10g BCAA.
There has also been mention of the only moment you should do slow cardio is, after getting up and before eating. (Mike Chang, sixpacksecret) So go for a sturdy stroll before eating since then the only fuel in your body is the fat you want to burn. But if you eat first, then the sugars you ate will be used for fuel. I guess this might give best results when combined with IF, since your stomach will be most empty then.
BTW I noticed increased size + definition in my upper arms + upper legs after 10 weeks of your THT4, thanks for that! I’ll try to improve the rest of my body as well, for some reason that lagged behind a bit, I’ll get to that soon.
I keep hard boiled eggs and cooked bacon (Turkey) in the fridge at all times…. Well, actually my wife does for me!!! A great pre-workout snack that doesn’t make me feel full, but gives me energy. Tuna fish and a slice of 2% american cheese also does the trick……….Did I mention how much I love my Wife!!! Ha,Ha!! But seriously, listen to Mark and get something in your belly.